EHF EURO 2018 is the first continental championship whose winner will qualify directly to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
However, when it comes to the teams playing the Olympic Qualification Tournament in early 2020, the participants will be not known until the end of the Women’s World Championship 2019 to be held in Japan in exactly one year.
Six teams will make it to the Qualification Tournaments based on their ranking at the World Championship 2019, the remaining six places are continental performance places and are allocated to the best (2 places), second best (2 places), third best and fourth best continent (1 place each) at the preceding World Championship (for more information also refer to chapter 5 of the Regulations for IHF competitions).
These continental performance places will be earned by the respective best ranked teams at the corresponding continental championship which are not yet qualified for either the Olympic Games themselves or the Qualification Tournaments.
There is a reasonably high likelihood that the teams earning these continental performance places will come from the ones who have not qualified for the semi-finals at EHF EURO 2018.
With this is mind, there is good reason why the match for 5/6 is played out on court and the ranking for the EHF EURO 2018 behind the semi-finalists is not done by calculation only.