Spain gets Czechs in Euro draw

WARSAW, Poland - Defending champion Spain will have the Czech Republic and Scotland among their rivals in qualifying for the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

WARSAW, Poland - Defending champion Spain will have the Czech Republic and Scotland among their rivals in qualifying for the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Lithuania and Liechtenstein completed Group I in yesterday's draw, meaning Spain will not have to face any team that qualified for this year's World Cup.

Germany were placed with Turkey and neighbouring Austria in Group A.

The Germans will also face Belgium, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

"Logistically, it's not going to be simple," Germany coach Joachim Loew said of the long trips to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Reigning World Cup champion Italy will play two teams that have qualified for the 2010 World Cup - Serbia and Slovenia.

Italy, which won the European title in 1968, also face Northern Ireland, Estonia and the Faeroe Islands in Group C. England was with another World Cup finalist, Switzerland, in Group G. They also face neighbour Wales, the Balkans, Bulgaria and Montenegro.

England were drawn into one of three groups with five teams, while the other six have six teams in each.

France, the 2000 champion, will again face Romania after also playing the team in World Cup qualifying. The other Group D teams are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania and Luxembourg.

Greece, the 2004 champion, have Croatia and Israel as their rivals in Group F, plus Latvia, Georgia and Malta.

Portugal will have three trips to northern Europe, with World Cup finalist Denmark, Norway and Iceland awaiting along with Cyprus.

The Netherlands will have two Nordic rivals in Sweden and Finland, plus Hungary, Moldova and San Marino in Group E.

Russia are in Group B along with Slovakia.

The nine winners and the runner-up with the best record qualify directly for the final tournament. The remaining eight runners-up will go into a home-and-away playoff round in November 2011. - Sapa-AP

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