Your guide to the Euro 2024 draw: How it works, where to see it and Ireland’s ideal and worst-case scenario groups

We might have a winter World Cup to deal with first but Sunday sees the draw taking place for Euro 2024 in Germany

The Euros, what about the World Cup?

Yes, the Qatar winter World Cup starts next month but the draw for the European Championships in Germany – between June 14th and July 14th, 2024 – is this Sunday morning.

When and where is the Euro ‘24 draw?

Uefa are live streaming the draw from 10am on Sunday from the Festhalle exhibition centre, Frankfurt.


How does the draw work?

53 nations go into six seeded categories, with Russia expelled and Germany automatically qualified as the host nation, for seven groups of five teams and three groups of six teams.

There’s a slight catch?

Indeed. The four Nations League group winners – the Netherlands, Croatia, Spain and Italy – are placed into the five team groups so they can participate in the NL finals in the June 2023 window. The other top seeds are Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland and Poland.

And Pot 2?

Here’s where it gets interesting as France and England lost top seeding after poor Nations League campaigns, so they join Wales, Scotland, Austria, Czech Republic, Israel, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Finland.

Who joins Ireland as third seeds?

Ukraine, Iceland, Norway, Slovenia, Albania, Montenegro, Romania, Sweden, Armenia.

And the rest?

Pot 4: Georgia, Greece, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Faroe Islands.

Pot 5: Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Belarus, Lithuania, Gibraltar, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Malta.

Pot 6: Andorra, San Marino and Liechtenstein will fill out Groups H, I and J.

Who is guaranteed qualification?

Group winners and runners-up automatically qualify for Germany 2024.

That leaves three remaining spots to be decided by 12 teams in the March 2024 playoffs?

Yes, Ireland finished third in a Nations League B division group so they are way down the pecking order but could still squeeze into a two-match playoff system if they finish third in their group. The group winners of Nations League A, B and C divisions are higher up the food chain, but if they have already qualified, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team in their league. If there are not enough non-qualified teams in the same league, then it filters down to the next league, finishing with League D.

Ideal draw?

Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar.

Worst-case scenario?

Spain, France, Ireland, Turkey, Northern Ireland.

Some countries cannot meet due to historic and current wars?

Armenia and Azerbaijan are kept apart, as are Belarus and Ukraine, Gibraltar and Spain, Kosovo cannot be drawn with Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia but nothing prohibits these teams from meeting at the actual Euros.

What about the winter rule?

A maximum of two winter venues may be drawn into the same group: Belarus, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway and several pairings have been declared to represent an excessive travel distance. A maximum of one such pair may be drawn into the same group.

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent