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10th Jul 2024

Why there is no third-place play-off at Euro 2024

Zoe Hodges

Euro 2024 third place playoff

Tonight could be England’s last game.

France’s Euro 2024 is over after Didier Deschamp’s side was knocked out by an organised and formidable Spanish side who progressed to the final.

Similarly, tonight will be England’s final game of the tournament should they fail to beat Netherlands as there is no third-place playoff.

Spain remain the only team in the tournament with a 100% win record as goals from Dani Olmo and Lamine Yamal – who became the youngest ever goal scorer at the Euros – sealed progression for Luis de la Fuente’s side.

Meanwhile, France had been slammed for being boring throughout the tournament and found themselves in a similar situation to England after scraping through to the semis but failing to really showcase their talents.

They scored just four times in five games courtesy of two own goals – a Kylian Mbappe penalty and Kolo Muani’s ninth minute strike in last night’s semi-final.

Why there is no third-place play-off at Euro 2024

Deschamp’s side will now head back to France as unlike the World Cup, there is no third place play-off in the European Championships.

The last time there was a third-place play-off was Euro 1980, held in Italy and it was the tournament hosts that played in that play-off losing 9-8 on penalties, after drawing the match 1-1 with Czechoslovakia. It was West Germany who won the tournament overall that year.

TV audiences were very low for the third-place play-off that year and despite the hosts being involved, attendance inside the stadium was also poor and it signalled the end of third-place play-off’s in the championship.

Viewers are probably grateful there is no third-place play-off this year though.

If England beat Netherlands, viewers have already watched an underwhelming clash between Les Bleus and the Netherlands in the group stages of the tournament.

Meanwhile, if Netherlands were to beat England tonight, Southgate’s side have been slammed for their style of play in similar fashion to the French so it would not be a game likely to draw a record breaking crowd.

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