Wednesday, June 13, 2012

UEFA Euro 2012 Tiebreakers

What happens if teams are level on points after the group stage of Euro 2012?

The UEFA Regulations for the tournament provide the answer on p. 6 (here in PDF):
8.07 If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied, in the order given; to determine the rankings:
a) higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question;
b) superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
c) higher number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
d) superior goal difference in all the group matches;
e) higher number of goals scored in all the group matches;
f) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see Annex I, paragraph 1.2.2);
g) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
h) drawing of lots.
8.08 If two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by kicks from the penalty mark (Article 16), provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.


  1. Interesting... the comentators on Spanish TV tonight were having this big argument about what would happen if 3 teams in group C had 5 points each (i.e. if we tie with Tcheque Republic and Italy beats Ireland). THey couldn't agree on wether it would be enough to just tie, or if it would have to be tying with goals (say 1-1) or what! They got quite worked up about it! :p
    Finally came to the conclusion that at 0-0 Spain goes through 2nd in the group, and 1-1 or 2-2 then first

  2. CrazyCris- In 2004 Group C had a 3-way tie on 5 points between Sweden, Denmark, Italy, who were all tied on goal differential (0-0-0) and Sweden won the group based on goals scored among the three teams.

  3. can anyone explain why a 2-2 draw between spain and croatia would send italy home regardless of their performance against ireland?

  4. In that case Spain and Croatia would have 5 points each. That is the best Italy can achieve as well, so one would have to use the tiebreakers. One would look at the result of the matches among the three tied teams. The points and the goal difference are the same for all teams in these matches but Croatia and Spain would have scored more goals so they would go through.

    CarztCris- I think that with a 1-1 tie Spain can be either first or second. If Italy wins by a lot of goals they will be first. Otherwise it will be Spain.