UEFA has confirmed that the Republic of Ireland will be one of the nine second seeds for the upcoming EURO 2016 draw.
Martin O’Neill’s side join Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic and Hungary in Pot 2, while Northern Ireland have been included in Pot 5.
The draw takes place on 23 February in Nice, while the opening round of fixtures will take place between 7-9 September 2014.
Holders Spain are named in Pot 1 alongside Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while hosts France will also be named in one of the nine groups, however, their fixtures will just be considered friendly internationals with no points available.
UEFA are introducing the concept of a ‘Week of Football’, where matches will be played from Tuesday to Thursday.
Matches can be played on any day within the ‘week’, while double-header weeks will involve countries playing on Thursday/Sunday, Friday/Monday or Saturday/Tuesday.
Apart from the seeding, the only other restrictions will ensure that Azerbaijan cannot meet Armenia and Spain cannot play Gibraltar for political reasons.
Pot 1 Spain (holders), Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Pot 2 Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland
Pot 3 Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland
Pot 4 Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus
Pot 5 Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus
Pot 6 Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar
UEFA EURO 2016/European Qualifiers calendar
Matchday 1: 7–9 September 2014
Matchday 2: 9–11 October 2014
Matchday 3: 12–14 October 2014
Matchday 4: 14–16 November 2014
Matchday 5: 27–29 March 2015
Matchday 6: 12–14 June 2015
Matchday 7: 3–5 September 2015
Matchday 8: 6–8 September 2015
Matchday 9: 8–10 October 2015
Matchday 10: 11–13 October 2015
Play-off first leg: 12–14 November 2015
Play-off second leg: 15–17 November 2015
Final tournament draw: 12 December 2015
Final tournament (France): 10 June–10 July 2016