Euro 2016 Draw

Group A
Holland
Czech Republic
Turkey
Latvia
Iceland
Kazakhstan

Group B
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Belgium
Israel
Wales
Cyprus
Andorra

Group C
Spain
Ukraine
Slovakia
Belarus
Macedonia
Luxembourg

Group D
Germany
Republic of Ireland
Poland
Scotland
Georgia
Gibraltar

Group E
England
Switzerland
Slovenia
Estonia
Lithuania
San Marino

Group F
Greece
Hungary
Romania
Finland
Northern Ireland
Faroe Islands

Group G
Russia
Sweden
Austria
Montenegro
Moldova
Liechtenstein

Group H
Italy
Croatia
Norway
Bulgaria
Azerbaijan
Malta

Group I
Portugal
Denmark
Serbia
Armenia
Albania
France*

*France qualify as hosts, but will play friendlies against teams in Group I. There will be no points awarded for games in which France is involved, so these will have no affect on the Group I table.

Qualifiers to be played between September 7, 2014 and October 13, 2015. Play-off matches to be played in November 2015.

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Filming begins in Rio on Pelé biography

Pele Promo shotPrincipal photography has started in Rio de Janeiro on Imagine Entertainment’s biog pic of Pelé, the world’s most famous footballer.

The film will show Pelé’s journey from childhood to the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, when, at just 17 he scored Brazil’s winning goal in the final. The 10-year old Pelé is played by Leonardo Lima Carvalho. From age 13 to 17 he is played by Kevin de Paula. Both newcomers were selected after two solid months of auditions.

The cast also includes Seu Jorge (playing Pelé’s father, Dondinho); Emmy-nominee Vincent d’Onofrio (MIB, Ed Wood and Full Metal Jacket), in the role of Vicente Feola, Brazil’s coach at the World Cup; Mexican star Diego Boneta (Rock of Ages), plays rival José, the man who gave young Edson the nickname that would become  so famous; and Colmn Meaney (Get Him To The Greek), is Sweden’s team coach. The film is written and directed by brothers Michael and Jeff Zimbalist, nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for their The Two Escobars documentary.

“I’ve always been for exploring the theme of genius. And Pelé is genius itself. He’s an inspiration to his country,” says Imagine Entertainment producer Brian Grazer.

“I am honoured to be a partner of Imagine Entertainment and to tell the story of Pelé’s infancy and youth, the story of the origin of one people’s hero and the soccer king, a man whose life inspired so many and who will now inspire a new generation”, adds Seine Pictures’ Ivan Orlic.

The production includes other top professionals , among them Academy Award-nonimated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (The Black Swan, Iron Man and Iron Man 2), art director Dominic Watkins (The Bourne Supremacy), editor Naomi Geraghty (Limitless, Reservation Road, Hotel Rwanda), costume designer Inês Salgado (City of God) and casting directors Marcela Altberg, Maria Vernieu (Silver Linings Playbook, The Black Swan) and Gail Stevens (Zero Dark Thirty, Slumdog Millionare).

The feature is scheduled for a May 2014 release, in time for the 2014 World Cup.

Official World Cup Mascot for 2014 is called Fuleco

Fuleco, a word which mixes the Portuguese for football (futebol) and ecology (ecologia), has been chosen as the name for the official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The three-month public voting campaign in Brazil, supported by FIFA Partner Coca-Cola, saw more than 1.7 million people voting for Fuleco . In all more than 48 per cent voted for Fuleco, ahead of Zuzeco (31 per cent) and Amijubi (21 per cent). Although the unanimous winner, many people wanted to see more options of names to vote on.

The results from FIFA’s independent brand tracking research indicate that Fuleco is fast becoming popular in Brazil:

  • 89 per cent of Brazilians said they had seen the Official Mascot
  • Fuleco™ is seen as a likeable character – he scores an average of 7.3 out of 10 on appeal

Recent results from FIFA’s 2012 public opinion tracker in Brazil also confirm the importance of the topic of sustainability and the environment among fans in the host country. Over 90 per cent of Brazilians believe that Brazil 2014 should be environmentally friendly.

To learn more about Fuleco, please visit his official FIFA homepage at www.fifa.com/mascot.

Brazil set to play England twice in 2013 in London and in Rio

Brazil is scheduled to play England twice in 2013 as Brazil prepares for the Confederations Cup and England look ahead to the 2014 World Cup.

The first game is scheduled for Wednesday, 6 February at Wembley Stadium in London as part of The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The two teams will then meet again Sunday, 2 June in a match that will mark the re-opening of the “new” Maracanã Stadium (photo) in Rio de Janeiro, the iconic stadium that will host the World Cup Final in 2014, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington said: “We’re delighted Brazil will kick-off The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations at Wembley. 2013 is a landmark year for The FA and an exciting England fixture programme, in addition to Wembley hosting the UEFA Champions League Final, will form a key part of the celebrations. As the most successful footballing nation, with great players and supporters, it will be fantastic to launch this important year in English football’s history against such outstanding opponents as Brazil.”

Brazil retains FIFA Futsal World Cup title

Brazil has retained the FIFA Futsal World Cup in a thrilling final in which they came from behind to beat Spain 3-2 after extra time at Bangkok’s Huamark Indoor Stadium in Thailand. A double from Neto and an equalising goal from Falaco enabled Brazil to keep hold of their trophy. Neto’s winner coming just 19 second from the end of extra time. In the match for third place, Italy claimed the final podium berth with a 3-0 victory over Colombia.

“It was a great final,” the Brazilian coach Marcos Sorato told FIFA, “and it showed that futsal deserves more attention. It was an attractive match and the fans were on their feet until the final moments. We had to fight until the end and even when Sapin scored, but we believed in ourselves as the Argentina match was a good lesson for us. I never stopped believing in the capabilities of my players. It was a dream final.”

The win is a fifth world title for Brazil in futsal to go with their previous triumphs in 1989, 1992, 1996 and 2008.