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Euro 2016 qualifying draw: European giants collide en route to finals in France

Feb 23, 2014, 7:09 AM EDT

EURO 2016 Steering Committee Meeting Getty Images

On Sunday morning in Nice, the full qualifying draw for the 2016 European Championship in France took place with some massive countries set to clash as the quest to reach Euro 2016 begins.

The standout qualifying group from the draw is Group D with Germany, Poland, Republic of Ireland and Scotland alongside Gibraltar and Georgia making up a contender for the “Group of Death.” Elsewhere, the Netherlands also have an extremely tough task in Group A with Kazakhstan, Iceland, Latvia, Turkey and Czech Republic the opposition.

Some of the big nations got off easy as England face Slovenia, Lithuania, San Marino, Estonia and Switzerland in Group E, while reigning champions Spain face Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Slovakia and Ukraine in Group C.

Overall there are plenty of intriguing matchups on the road to Euro 2016, with new and old rivalries being drawn out and, of course, the countries who weren’t meant to be drawn against each other for political reasons… were paired together and had to be switched. Gibraltar and Spain had to be split up, as did Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Hosts France have qualified automatically for the competition, which kicks of on June 10, 2014 across 10 host cities in France.

For the first time the ‘week of football’ format will be used for this qualifying tournament, as games will be spread evenly from Thursday to Tuesday during the international break. Teams will either play on Thursday and Sunday, Friday and Monday or Saturday and Tuesday during double headers and single games will be played on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This change is aimed at giving people chance to watch as many games as possible, rather than matches all being played at the same time.

Below are the Euro 2016 qualifying groups in full, as the qualifying campaign kicks off on September 7, 2014 and runs until October 13, 2015.


Group A: Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Iceland, Latvia, Turkey, Czech Republic

Group B: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Andorra, Cyprus, Wales, Israel, Belgium

Group C: Spain, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine

Group D: Germany, Gibraltar, Georgia, Scotland, Poland, Republic of Ireland

Group E: England, San Marino, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Group F: Greece, Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland, Finland, Romania, Hungary

Group G: Russia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, Austria, Sweden

Group H: Italy, Malta, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Norway, Croatia

Group I: Portugal, Albania, Armenia, Serbia, Denmark

  1. Jenna - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Switzerland is in a fairly manageable group. Even England is beatable. Good news…

  2. handsofsweed - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I’m just pissed that I have to wait 90 years for this damn qualifying to start. I’m not sure how well my eyes will work at the tender age of 128.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      Ah. Yes. Thanks for flagging. Quick question: How many terms will that be for Sepp Blatter as FIFA President in 2104? …. Because you know he will still be around.

      • mikeevergreen - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Not Blatter, Bladder.

    • bostonredsoccer - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      In 90 years, the games will be beamed directly into your brain. As long as it still works (even if it’s in a jar), you’ll be fine.

  3. banksofthetrent - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    The Dutch don’t have a hard group at all, none of the top seeds do and all will make the euros.

    • mikeevergreen - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      You think that group is easy? Remember that Iceland made the playoff for WC qualifying, and the Turks and Czechs are no pushovers.

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