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FOOTBALL

Holders Spain to start Euro 2016 campaign against Czechs

Franck Fife, AFP | The final draw of the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament in Paris, on December 12, 2015
Text by: NEWS WIRES
2 min

Spain will begin their bid for an unprecedented third successive European Championship title against Czech Republic after the draw for the 2016 finals was made at the Palais des Congress on Saturday.

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World champions Germany are to meet Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland in Group C.

Spain, who were also drawn in the same section as Croatia and Turkey, open up against Group D opponents Czech Republic in Toulouse on June 13.

Hosts France, who won the eight-team Euros on home soil in 1984, will launch the championship against Group A rivals Romania in Paris on June 10.

The two teams drew 0-0 at Euro 2008 before being drawn together in the next two qualifying tournaments, for the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

The other sides in Group A are Albania, taking part in their first major tournament finals, and Switzerland.

Germany, who have won the title three times with their last triumph coming in 1996, open up against Ukraine in Lille on June 12.

England play neighbours Wales, taking part in their first major tournament finals since the 1958 World Cup, in their opening Group B match in Lens on June 16.

It will be the 102nd meeting between the two nations since they first clashed in 1879. Russia and Slovakia complete the group.

Belgium, currently the best team in the world according to the FIFA rankings, are in a tough Group E along with Italy, Sweden and Ireland.

Iceland, like Albania playing in their first major tournament finals, face Portugal, Austria and Hungary in Group F.

Iceland begin their campaign against Hungary in Marseille on June 18.

The 24-team competition sees 16 teams advance from the group stage, the top two in each section and the best four third-placed sides, with the final in Paris on July 10.

The expanded finals will be staged in 10 cities across France.

(REUTERS)

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