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Ireland and Hungary have the honour

The Republic of Ireland and Hungary will kick off the qualifying group stage on 1 April next year, the first of 120 matches running until 2 October 2008.

The Republic of Ireland and Hungary will kick off the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying group stage on 1 April next year, the first of 120 matches in the six groups running until 2 October 2008.

Irish start
Ireland welcome Hungary in the first Group 2 fixture, and ten days later France will be the first 2005 qualifier to open their campaign against Greece in Group 3. The following day holders Germany welcome Group 4 rivals the Netherlands, and the same day Slovakia and Portugal begin Group 5. Group 6 starts with Poland’s 5 May trip to Austria, a day on which Group 2 matches the only two 2005 qualifiers drawn in the same pool - Italy and Sweden. Group 1 commences eight days later when England take on Northern Ireland, while of the other 2005 finalists, runners-up Norway go to Israel in Group 6 on 17 June, but Denmark wait until after the FIFA Women's World Cup in September, welcoming Portugal in Group 5 on 27 October.

Final fixtures
The final fixtures on the first two days of October include some potentially pivotal matches. Group 5 is the first to finish as Denmark welcome fast improving Ukraine and the next day Spain go to England in Group 1, Italy face Group 2 opponents Hungary, Group 3 concludes with Greece playing Slovenia, Germany finish Group 4 in Switzerland and Group 6 matches Russia and Norway.

Opening games team-by-team

Group 1
England: v Northern Ireland (h) 13 May
Czech Republic: v Northern Ireland (a) 26 May
Spain: v Belarus (a) 30 May
Belarus: v Spain (h) 30 May
Northern Ireland: v England (a) 13 May

Group 2
Sweden: v Italy (a) 5 May
Italy: v Sweden (h) 5 May
Hungary: v Republic of Ireland (a) 1 April
Republic of Ireland: v Hungary (h) 1 April
Romania: v Republic of Ireland (h) 25 August

Group 3
France: v Greece (h) 11 April
Iceland: v Greece (a) 31 May
Serbia: v Slovenia (a) 5 May
Greece: v France (a) 11 April
Slovenia: v Serbia (h) 5 May

Group 4
Germany: v Netherlands (h) 12 April
Netherlands: v Germany (a) 12 April
Switzerland: v Belgium (h) 5 May
Belgium: v Switzerland (a) 5 May
Wales: v Germany (h) 10 May

Group 5
Denmark: v Portugal (h) 27 October
Ukraine: v Scotland (h) 30 May
Scotland: v Portugal (h) 6 May
Portugal: v Slovakia (a) 12 April
Slovakia: v Portugal (h) 12 April

Group 6
Norway: v Israel (a) 17 June
Russia: v Israel (a) 30 May
Poland: v Austria (a) 5 May
Austria: v Poland (h) 5 May
Israel: v Poland (h) 10 May

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