Hosts Romania will face the Czech Republic, Greece and the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship group stage after the finals draw was made in Bucharest today.
Romania had never qualified for a U17 or U19 finals before 2011, but having broken their duck with a 1-1 draw against the Czechs in last month's U17 event in Serbia, they will open their Group A campaign against the same nation in the U19 tournament they are staging from 20 July. Among their other opponents, Ireland have qualified for the first time since 2002 while Greece knocked out holders France in the elite round of the qualification process.
Spain, four-time winners of this championship and runners-up to France last season, are in Group B along with Belgium, Serbia and Turkey, whom they beat in the 2004 final.
Today's draw was held at the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) headquarters in Bucharest. It was conducted by Jim Boyce, first vice-chairman of the UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee, former Romanian international Gheorghe Hagi and his old colleague, the technical director of the FRF's national youth teams, Miodrag Belodedici.
The group games, for which the schedule will be confirmed shortly, will be on 20, 23 and 26 July, with the semi-finals three days later and the final on 1 August.
Final tournament draw
Group A: Romania (hosts), Czech Republic, Greece, Republic of Ireland
Group B: Serbia, Turkey, Spain, Belgium
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