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Sat. May 18th, 2024

For Ireland’s national team, a loss in the European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands could actually improve their chances of reaching the finals. Currently placed fourth in their group, they have no shot at an early ticket to the European Championship. Instead, their hopes rest on the Dutch team’s direct qualification, which would grant Ireland a spot in the playoffs for the remaining three positions.

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 Gains from Lowlands Loss – UEFA’s 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.”

In addition to expressing confidence in the Irish team, UEFA is also responding to criticisms concerning the qualification format. “No competition format can guarantee absolute perfection. The incident in question is statistically quite uncommon,” stated the governing body of European football in its response to “dpa.”

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