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Germany, Netherlands drawn in Euro 2012 'group of death'

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Fri, Dec 02 2011 5466 Views
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Germany and the Netherlands will rekindle their traditional rivalry in the Euro 2012 after being drawn in the "group of death" along with Portugal and Denmark at the draw in Kiev on December 2.

Co-hosts Poland, which will open the tournament against Greece, were drawn into a wide-open group A, which will also feature Russia and the Czech Republic.

England will face France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine into group D, avoiding a tougher draw.

Defending European and world champions Spain were also handed a manageable group and will play Italy, Ireland and Croatia.

Poland and Ukraine were picked in 2007 to host the final tournament; it will be only the second time since the inception of the European football championship in 1960 that the final tournament will be held in Eastern Europe, with Yugoslavia hosting the 1976 championship.

The matches will be played in eight cities, four in each host country – Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk in Poland; Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lviv and Kiev in Ukraine. Warsaw will host the opening ceremony and first match on June 8, while the final will be played in Kiev on July 1. The group stage will end on June 19 and the knock-out stage will start two days later, on June 21.

Euro 2012 will also be the last European championship in the current format, with 16 teams contending for the Henri Delaunay trophy – starting with Euro 2016, which will be hosted by France, a total of 24 teams will qualify for the final tournament.

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