Live Updates
  • England drawn alongside Russia, Wales and Slovakia in Group B
  • Northern Ireland will face world champions Germany, Poland and Ukraine in their bid to reach the last 16
  • Republic of Ireland handed tough Group E test against Belgium, Italy and Sweden
  • France will kick-off expanded tournament against Romania at the Stade de France on 10 June
Euro 2016 draw
The draw for the group stage of Euro 2016 took place in Paris on Saturday afternoon AFP

That brings to an end our live coverage of the Euro 2016 group stage draw, but be sure to stay tuned to IBTimes UK for all the latest reaction throughout a busy weekend.

You can also click here to follow Tony Mogan's live coverage of the Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Manchester United at Dean Court. Goodbye for now.

England being paired with old rivals Wales is certainly the most eye-catching headline, although an opening tie against Russia in Marseille on 11 June will be provide plenty of intrigue for Roy Hodgson's side.

Both Northern and the Republic of Ireland have been handed tough tasks, the latter of whom will have to face both Belgium and Italy in a bid to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Hosts France are sure to be quietly confident, meanwhile. Likewise Portugal, who should be able to negotiate Group F with a minimum of fuss. Germany and Spain will also fancy their chances.

That completes the draw for the first phase of Euro 2016. Here is a reminder of how the groups will look in the right order:

Group A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland

Group B: England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia

Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia

Group E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, AUSTRIA

Group E: Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, ITALY

Group D: Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, CROATIA

Group C: Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland, UKRAINE

Group B: England, Wales, Slovakia, RUSSIA

Group A: France, Romania, Albania, SWITZERLAND

Now we turn to pot two in order to complete the draw.

Northern Ireland look to have found themselves in a very tough group indeed...

The opening match of Euro 2016 will see France take on Romania at the Stade de France on 10 June.

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, HUNGARY

Group E: Belgium, Republic of Ireland, SWEDEN

Group D: Spain, Turkey, CZECH REPUBLIC

Group C: Germany, Northern Ireland, POLAND

Group B: England, Wales, SLOVAKIA

Group A: France, Albania, ROMANIA

Pot three to be drawn now.

Northern Ireland face a tough test against world champions Germany, while the Republic of Ireland will face the world's number-one ranked team in Belgium.

So, Wales have been drawn alongside England in Group B. That fixture will take place in Lens on 16 June.

Group F: Portugal, ICELAND


Group D: Spain, TURKEY


Group B: England, WALES

Now there's a surprise!

Group A: France, ALBANIA

So, that's the highest-ranked teams out of the way. Pot four to come next.



Group D: SPAIN




Pot one to come first....

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, a contender to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in February's elections, is a very familiar face at these events and he will conduct proceedings once more.

Del Bosque will be joined by fellow European Championship winners Oliver Bierhoff, Angelos Charisteas, Antonín Panenka and David Trezeguet for the draw.

A reminder that UEFA president Michel Platini is not in attendance after seeing his provisional 90-day ban from all football-related activity upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.

Who is ready to discover England's group stage fate?

Super Victor

It seems we are finally edging closer to the main event as Spain's Euro 2012 winning coach Vicente del Bosque brings the trophy out onto the stage.

Just a few more video compilations and we should be underway....

Parisian music supremo David Guetta is currently discussing his Euro 2016 song entitled 'This One's For You', with slightly terrifying mascot Super Victor lurking in the background.

A song and some fairly impressive acrobatics now followed by a young dance troupe decked out in t-shirts displaying the flags of each qualified nation.

No expense spared here, it seems...

After a spot of can-can dancing to kick things off, those in attendance in Paris are now being treated to a video package showcasing each of the 10 Euro 2016 venues.

Hosts Ruud Gullit and Bixente Lizarazu have taken to the stage and the show is now officially underway. After the usual ceremony and pomp, we are expecting the draw itself to start properly in around 15 minutes.

10 stadiums will be in use during the competition, with the final set to be staged at the grand Stade de France in Saint-Denis.

Other venues include Marseille's Stade Velodrome, the Stade de Lyon, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, the Parc des Princes, the Stade de Bordeaux, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, the Allianz Riviera, Stade Bollaert-Delelis and Stadium Municipal.

The group stage of Euro 2016 will commence on Friday 10 June and see 36 matches played in total.

The rest of the key dates for the tournament are as follows:

Monday 25 June 2016 – Round of 16 begins

Thursday 30 June 2016 – Quarter-finals begin

Wednesday 6 July – Semi-finals begin

Sunday 10 July – Final

As my colleague Tony Mogan notes in his rather handy explainer here:

Four teams will be drawn into six groups (A to F). Teams from Pot 1 will be drawn with teams from Pot 4 then being selected and assigned a group, with the process repeated with the teams from Pot 3 and Pot 2.

The top two sides from each group will qualify for the knockout stages of the competition with the four best third-placed sides joining them

The 24 teams have been placed into four separate pots of six, with their status determined by Uefa's national coefficient rankings. Hosts France have been automatically assigned to Group A.

Pot 1 – France, Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, Belgium

Pot 2 – Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Ukraine

Pot 3 – Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary

Pot 4 – Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Wales, Albania, Northern Ireland

Good afternoon and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the draw for the group stage of next summer's expanded 2016 European Championship finals in France.

With qualification campaigns and the nerve-wracking play-offs now complete, the 24 teams set to contest the tournament - including England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - are primed to discover their fate.

The UEFA ceremony in Paris is due to get underway at approximately 17:00 GMT, so stay tuned for live updates in addition to an explanation of how everything will work.