UEFA Euro 2024 draw hands France, Spain challenging paths to knockout stages

Tournament will begin on June 14, with its final scheduled to be held at Berlin's Olympiastadion on July 14

By Web Desk
December 03, 2023
A general view shows the trophy in front of the drawn groups after the final draw for the UEFA Euro 2024 European Championship football competition in Hamburg, northern Germany on December 2, 2023. — AFP

The UEFA Euro 2024 draw in Germany for next summer saw France and Spain being handed challenging routes to the knockout stages, as 21 teams have already qualified for the tournament, with three more spots still up for grabs through a playoff tournament in March.

During the draw on Saturday, it was revealed that France, which lifted the World Cup in 2018 and reached the final in 2022, will play in Group D, to face Netherlands, Austria and the winners of Playoff A (Poland, Wales, Finland, Estonia), ESPN reported.

Spain, the 2008 and 2012 champion of this tournament, was placed in Group B, but they still have a challenging task ahead of them as they face off against Italy, the defending champion, and Croatia, a World Cup semifinalist. The final team in the group was Albania.

England, which is still seeking their first major men's trophy since 1966, was placed in Group C with Denmark, Slovenia, and Serbia.

"You always feel the same way. The games are not played on paper," England manager Gareth Southgate told reporters. "All of the teams we play are more than capable. I was really relaxed about all of it. You know the objective is to get out of the group."

Although Germany has not been in their best form this year, they were drawn out of Pot 1 into Group A as hosts of the tournament, set to kick off the tournament against Scotland, with further group matches against Hungary and Switzerland.

"They [Germany] will have to be ready for a lot of Scotsmen to come," Scotland boss Steve Clarke said.

The tournament will begin on June 14, with the final scheduled to be staged at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on July 14.

UEFA on Saturday announced that the prize money for Euro 2024 will include an extra payout of €8 million ($8.70 million) on top of the participation fee of €9.25 million.

Teams will also receive a match bonus of €1 million for wins and €500,000 for draws, and additional rewards for teams that qualify for the round of 16, quarterfinals, and semifinals.

"The amount for distribution to the participating teams is confirmed at the same level as for ... Euro 2020, i.e. a total of €331million," UEFA said. "The maximum amount that the champion team may achieve, if they will have won all three of their group matches, is €28.25 million."

Euro 2024 finals draw

Group A: Germany (hosts), Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland.

Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania.

Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England.

Group D: Play-off winner A, (Poland/Wales/Finland/Estonia), Netherlands, Austria, France.

Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Play-off winner B (Israel/Bosnia/Ukraine/Iceland).

Group F: Turkey, Play-off winner C (Georgia/Greece/Kazakhstan/Luxembourg), Portugal, Czech Republic.