IRELAND and France are in the fourth group of seeds for the Euro 2012 finals draw, UEFA confirmed today, ruling out the possibility of the two countries facing each other in the group stages next June.
Any future clash between the two nations is likely to be viewed as a ‘grudge match’ following France’s controversial progression to last summer’s World Cup at Ireland’s expense, following Thierry Henry’s infamous hand ball in the play-off second leg in Paris two years ago.
Ireland, however, could be paired with England when the groups are drawn on the evening of Friday December 2 in Kiev, Ukraine, as Fabio Capello’s side are in Pot 2 alongside Euro 2008 runners-up Germany, 2006 world champions Italy and Russia.
Reigning world and European champions Spain are in the top group of seeds, alongside 2010 World Cup finalists Holland plus co-hosts Poland and Ukraine, who have already been allocated to groups A and D respectively.
Ireland also share Pot 4 with Denmark and the Czech Republic.
EURO 2012 SEEDINGS
Pot 1: Spain, Holland, Poland, Ukraine
Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, Russia
Pot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Sweden
Pot 4: Republic of Ireland, Denmark, France, Czech Republic