Why Is There No Third-place Match In Euro 2024?


There is a growing but possibly unanswered question by fans, who are wondering why there is no third-place match in Euro 2024.

Well, the answer is not far-fetched, as it has been the case for over four decades and counting.

Why Is There No Third-place Match In Euro 2024?

Several factors have led to the third-place match not being in place in the tournament schedule, as UEFA view the clash as pretty much an inconsequential encounter.

The third-place match has often had a lackluster cloud around it, as it is often seen as a game that fans are not keen on watching.

There is the notion that all players, coaches, and supporters prefer to be at the final, as opposed to spending their time to see who will come out as the third-best team of the tournament.

Victory expectedly does come with a bronze medal, but it still doesn’t give the feeling of being the eventual winner of a competition.

Neither France nor the Netherlands, who lost out in their semi-final fixtures against Spain and England respectively will be heaped with the responsibility of playing a third-place match at Euro 2024.

UEFA abolished the third-place one-off encounter due to nosediving television ratings and fan attendance.

When Was The Last Time There Was A Third-place Match at European Championship?

The last third-place match at the European Championship involved Czechoslovakia and hosts Italy in 1980, with the former defeating the latter 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regular time.

West Germany, now known as Germany, won the tournament, defeating Belgium 2-1 in Rome on June 22, 1980.

Late Romanian football referee and player Nicolae Rainea adjudicated the affair at the Stadio Olimpico, with 47, 860 fans in attendance.

The EURO is the only major competition aside from the Asian Cup without a third-place match, the latter recently scrapped it in 2019.

Tournaments With Third-place Matches

There is a third-place playoff for the FIFA World Cup alongside the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America, arguably the top three biggest continental tournaments involving countries.

Croatia is the current holder of the bronze medal at the World Cup, having defeated Morocco 2-1 in their third-place meeting.

South Africa won the losers’ final at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ivory Coast, defeating DR Congo on penalties, after playing out a 0-0 draw in normal time.

For the 2024 Copa America, Canada and Uruguay will battle in the third-place match on Sunday, July 14, 2024.

Despite the lack of appeal that the encounter does bring to others, it offers them the chance to bow out of the tournament on a high.

The bronze medal handed to winners of the clash could also be a propeller for them, going into subsequent tournaments, as they dream of greater heights.

Losers don’t often feel dejected as in many cases; teams don’t bring their A-game to such fixtures and that leads us to some of the reasons why UEFA abolished the third-place match at the European Championships.

Moreover, some countries have carved the third-place match as a niche for themselves to have something to brag about at the end of the day, for example, Nigeria, who have won 8 Bronze medals at the Africa Cup of Nations.


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