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The Euro 2012 qualifying draw in Warsaw got off to a mixed start with a less than tuneful performance from a Polish boyband.
However, when we finally reached the main event, those famous coloured balls did not disappoint with Andriy Shevchenko (who surely should have been voting in Ukraine’s election) helping dish out some fabulous encounters like England v Wales. Germany, Turkey and Austria are in the same group while Denmark, Norway and Iceland will also all meet.
Here’s the full draw. What do you reckon? England in the group of death? Interestingly, Armenia were switched from the same group as Azerbaijan on political grounds.
Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan
Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Ireland, Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra
Group C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands
Group D: France, Romania, Bosnia, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg
Group E: Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino,
Group F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, Malta
Group G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro
Group H: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland
Group I: Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein
PHOTO: Construction work continues at the Olympic stadium in Kiev December 11, 2009. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Yet again I find myself asking the question: why did UEFA award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?
Questions marks have again been raised over the decision by European soccer’s governing body after it was yet again forced to set another deadline for Ukraine to meet is criteria for a number of its venues.
As the dust settles on a turbulent few weeks for Polish soccer, a wider question is being asked in the game’s corridors of power. Did UEFA make a mistake in awarding Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?
Despite both countries receiving explicit warnings from European soccer’s governing body, they are still well behind in their preparations, so much so that UEFA may have to rethink the number of stadia to be used.