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2024 EM Qualification: Ireland’s Potential Benefit from Lowlands Defeat – UEFA Response

In the context of Ireland’s national team, a loss in the European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands could actually improve their chances of reaching the finals. Currently occupying the fourth position in their group, they do not have a direct path to the European Championship. Their best hope lies in the Netherlands securing direct qualification, which would allow Ireland to enter the playoffs for the last three available slots.

After the conclusion of the group stage, there are still three free places up for grabs for EURO 2024 in Germany, which will be played for in three small tournaments this spring.

Qualification for the tournament format is based on the final standings from the previous Nations League season.

Since the Irish finished 26th there, they hope to qualify directly from as many teams as possible that finished ahead of them in the final Nations League standings in order to gain access to those tournaments for the final three tickets themselves.

For this reason, a direct qualification of the Netherlands (fourth place in the Nations League) would be desirable from the Irish point of view. A defeat against Oranje could bring them closer to that goal and increase their own chances of participating in the final tournament in Germany.

Bondscoach’s side, currently second in Group B behind runners-up France, are battling Greece for direct qualification to the European Championship finals.

2024 EM Qualification: Ireland’s Potential Benefit from Lowlands Defeat – UEFA Response


UEFA, however, is banking on the fairness of the Irish national team. “We have no doubts about the sporting integrity of the Irish team,” UEFA replied Thursday to an inquiry from the “Deutsche Presse-Agentur.”

Apart from expressing confidence in the Irish team, UEFA is also addressing criticisms regarding the qualification format. In response to “dpa,” the governing body of European soccer stated, “No competition format can be entirely foolproof in this regard. The mentioned incident is statistically highly improbable.”

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