Zurich: The road to Euro 2020 is clearing up with 20 of the 24 places have been filled and the final four will be decided through playoffs in March.
The main draw for the finals will be in Bucharest on Nov 30.
The 16-team lineup for the 2020 European Championship playoffs was confirmed Tuesday with a draw needed this week to decide which three nations join Iceland in the top-tier bracket.
The 16 teams will be divided into four brackets based on their placement in last year’s Nations League, with the winner in each advancing to next year’s tournament.
Single-game semifinals in each bracket will be played on March 26, with the four finals played five days later.
A UEFA draw on Friday will decide home advantage in the four playoff finals.
For the first time, the European championship finals will be staged in 12 cities in 12 countries across Europe rather than the traditional system of one or two host nations.
UEFA have said this is a one-off arrangement to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.
The host cities, chosen at a vote in September 2014, are: London, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Bilbao, Rome, Budapest, Bucharest, St Petersburg, Baku.
Brussels was also selected but pulled out due to delays over construction of a new stadium. All of its games were reallocated to London.
The teams who have qualified so far are: Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, France, Turkey, England, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Wales.
Finland are the only debutants so far.
The 16 teams in the playoffs are Iceland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Israel, Bosnia, Slovakia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Belarus.
The teams in the playoffs have been divided into four separate paths with one team qualifying from each path. In each path, there will be two semi-finals, played over one leg, and a one-leg final.
Path A: Iceland and three out of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Israel.
Path B: Bosnia, Slovakia, Ireland, Northern Ireland.
Path C: Scotland, Norway, Serbia and one out of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Israel.
Path D: Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Belarus.
The draw for the semi-final pairings in each path will be made on Nov. 22 at UEFA headquarters. The highest-ranked team will play the semi-final at home and a draw will determine the hosts for each final.
MAIN DRAW AND WHO PLAYS WHERE
The main draw will take place in Bucharest on Nov. 30.
Each group will be based in two host cities. Host teams who have qualified will play all their matches at home. If both hosts in a group qualify, a draw will determine who plays at home when they meet. However, if one of those host teams has qualified directly and the other via a playoff, the team which qualified directly will play at home.
So far, the following places have been allocated.
Group A: (Rome and Baku) Italy.
Group B: (Copenhagen and St Petersburg) Denmark and Russia.
Group C: (Amsterdam and Bucharest) Netherlands, plus Romania if they qualify.
Group D: (London and Glasgow) England, plus Scotland if they qualify.
Group E: (Bilbao and Dublin) Spain, plus Ireland if they qualify.
Group F: (Munich and Budapest) Germany, plus Hungary if they qualify.
Under UEFA rules, the following pairs of teams cannot be drawn in the same group for security reasons: Russia and Ukraine, Bosnia and Kosovo, Serbia and Kosovo.
(With inputs from Agencies)