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EURO 2024

Hosts Germany to face Scotland in Euro 2024 opening match

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UEFA Euro 2024 Final Draw - Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany - December 2, 2023 General view of the groups during the draw REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach Acquire Licensing Rights

Hosts Germany will face Scotland in the opening match of Euro 2024 in Munich following the draw on Saturday and defending Champions Italy have been drawn in the same group as Spain.

The Germans, three-times winners, will kick off the one-month tournament in Munich on June 14, with the final on July 14 in Berlin’s Olympic stadium.

The draw was held at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, one of the 10 host cities of the tournament.

Germany will also face Hungary, who came through the qualifying campaign unbeaten, and Switzerland in Group A.

“I am optimistic that if we do some things in the coming few months then we will play a good Euro. The first game also has a special kind of pressure,” said Rudi Voeller, Germany’s national team director.

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Italy face a tough task in defending their title, drawn in Group B with Spain, Croatia and Albania.

Italy defeated Spain on penalties in the semi-final on their way to winning Euro 2020, but lost 4-0 to the Spanish in the 2012 final. Croatia reached the semi-final stage of the last World Cup.

France and the Netherlands will meet again after coming through the qualifying in the same group, drawn in Group D alongside Austria and the winners of playoff A.

France, who won both games against the Dutch on their way to topping the qualifying group, kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Austria in Duesseldorf.

The Netherlands must wait for the playoffs in March to find out who their opening opponents will be – Poland, Wales, Finland or Estonia.

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England, runners-up at Euro 2020, are in Group C alongside Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia. England, who needed extra time to see off Denmark in the 2020 semi-finals, start the tournament against Serbia.

In Group E, Belgium face Romania, Slovakia and the winners of playoff B, Israel, Bosnia, Ukraine or Iceland.

Portugal are in Group F, alongside Turkey, Czech Republic and the playoff C winners, one of Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan or Luxembourg, who finished third in Portugal’s qualifying group.

The top two in each of the six Euro 2024 groups proceed to the round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers.

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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