Premier League

Is there a third-place play-off at Euro 2024?

1. FC Kaiserslautern v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - DFB Cup 2023/24 Final

When the runners-up in major finals go to collect their silver medals they have two options: begrudgingly let it be draped around their necks or swiftly and furiously remove it.

Either way, the tag of runners-up is seldom worn as a badge of honour, especially when witnessing the unbridled joy spilling out of the winning side as they lift their victor’s cup.

Therefore, the idea of a third-place play-off has often been subject to ridicule and derision from supporters, with such fixtures in the past having usually been met with a general lack of effort from participating teams.

But will nations at Euro 2024 this summer have to worry about playing the match that nobody wants to play?

Fortunately for the losers of this summer’s Euro 2024 semi-finals, there will not be a third-place play-off. UEFA got rid of the concept due to low attendances at such matches and lower than average TV audiences.

The third-place play-off is not a fixture that is particularly prestigious, as demonstrated at previous World Cups, but the 2022 World Cup meeting between Croatia and Morocco was fiercely contested.

The last third-place play-off at a European Championship took place back in 1980, with Czechoslovakia battling Italy in Naples. Unfortunately for the home supporters, the Italians fell to defeat on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time, with Fulvio Collovati’s miss resulting in a 9-8 shootout victory for Czechoslovakia.

Third-place play-offs had been a constant at the Euros up until 1980, after which they were removed from the competition by UEFA.

1. FC Kaiserslautern v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - DFB Cup 2023/24 Final

The Olympiastadion in Berlin will host the final / Jürgen Fromme – firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday 14 June and comes to a close on Sunday 14 July, with the final taking place in Berlin at Hertha’s Olympiastadion. The famous venue will host six matches throughout the tournament, including the showpiece event.

Germany will be desperate to be there but a host nation hasn’t won the Euros since France in 1984 (excluding Italy at Euro 2020 when the tournament was played across Europe). The French will be among the favourites yet again, while England will want to avenge their final defeat at the previous tournament.

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