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England among top Euro seeds

England have been confirmed as one of the nine top seeds for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Last Updated: 24/01/14 at 13:55 Post Comment

Holders Spain joined in Euro 2016 top qualifying pot by Roy Hodgson's Englan

Holders Spain joined in Euro 2016 top qualifying pot by Roy Hodgson's Englan

The expected move will see them avoid Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Greece, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina when the draw is made in Nice on February 23.

UEFA's coefficent system is used to determine the seedings, meaning the Republic of Ireland will be among the pot of second seeds, Scotland and Wales will be in the fourth with Northern Ireland among the fifth-seeded nations.

The 53 teams will be drawn into eight groups of six and one of five with the group winners, runners-up and the best third-placed side joining host nation France in the finals.

The eight remaining third-placed teams will contest two-legged play-offs to determine the final four qualifiers for the showpiece event which takes place between June 10 and July 10, 2016.

Meanwhile, UEFA says it plans to test a vanishing spray which is designed to help referees determine when players are the correct 30-feet distance from the ball when free kicks are taken.

The spray, which is said to disappear in under a minute, will be trialled at this summer's European U17 Championships in Malta.

A member of the governing body's executive committee said at their gathering in Nyon: "Based on the outcome of this trial, the spray may be considered for use in other UEFA competitions."

And the same committee has revealed the number of teams at the finals of the European U21 Championships of 2017 will be expanded from eight to 12.

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