The draw for Euro 2016 was held at the Palais des Congres in Paris today. Teams who qualified over the course of the last year were drawn into eight separate groups. Euro 2016 kicks off in France on 10 June 2016.
The older formats had only 16 teams participating, but the new format sees 24 teams. The teams were divided into four separate pots with six teams each (Pot 1 had five as France are the hosts). The teams were put into pots based on their UEFA national team coefficient rankings.
How the Euro draw happened
Pot 1 had teams such as defending champions Spain, World Cup winners Germany, England, Portugal and Belgium, who are currently world no.1 in the FIFA rankings. Pot 2 had Euro 2012 finalists Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia and Ukraine.
Pot 3 had Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. Pot 4 had Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania and Northern Ireland.
Teams from Pot 1 were first drawn into each group. France were drawn into Group A as Team A1 since they are the hosts. After each team from Pot 1 was drawn into each group, it was followed by drawing teams from Pot 4, Pot 3 and finally Pot 2 (which featured big teams such as Italy and Russia).
The biggest draw from Pot 4 was Wales and they were drawn in Group B and will play England in the group stages itself. England were also drawn with Russia. Meanwhile, Germany and Poland were drawn in the same group along with Ukraine and Northern Ireland.
Spain were drawn with Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia while Belgium were drawn with Italy, Republic of Ireland and Sweden. Portugal in Group F were drawn with Iceland, Austria and Hungary.
France vs Romania will be the first fixture of Euro 2016.
|GROUP A||GROUP B||GROUP C||GROUP D||GROUP E||GROUP F|
|Albania||Wales||Poland||Turkey||Rep of Ireland||Austria|
How teams qualify for Euro knockouts
Since the tournament has expanded 24 teams, an extra round has been added to Euro. Previously, group winners and runners-up qualified directly for the quarter-final. Now they qualify for the Round of 16.
The top two teams automatically progress to the next round. However, four more teams will also get the chance to qualify if they have the best third-placed finish among all groups. i.e. four third-placed teams with the highest points also qualify for the Round of 16.
Published 12 Dec 2015, 21:31 IST