Soccer

Scotland to open Euro 2024 with Germany clash

Scotland, managed by Steve Clarke, will kick off Euro 2024 against hosts Germany (Steve Welsh/PA)
Scotland, managed by Steve Clarke, will kick off Euro 2024 against hosts Germany (Steve Welsh/PA) Scotland, managed by Steve Clarke, will kick off Euro 2024 against hosts Germany (Steve Welsh/PA)

Scotland will kick off Euro 2024 after they were drawn to face tournament hosts Germany in Group A.

Steve Clarke’s side, who sealed qualification for the finals with two matches to spare, will play in the opening match in Munich on June 14 before games against Switzerland and Hungary.

Gareth Southgate’s England were drawn to face Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia in Group C.

The draw was disrupted by what appeared to be sexual noises during the broadcast of the ceremony. UEFA is trying to establish what occurred and a statement from European football’s governing body is expected later.

It had echoes of an incident in January when similar noises could be heard during the BBC’s live coverage of the Wolves v Liverpool FA Cup clash. A mobile phone had been taped in place next to the studio.

Wales still need to win two play-off matches in March if they are going to make it, but face a difficult assignment against 2022 World Cup finalists France, the Netherlands and Austria if they do.

Scotland lost to Germany at the group stage of Euro 92, a 2-0 defeat preventing the Scots from progressing. Scotland also faced West Germany at the finals of the 1986 World Cup, where the Germans won 2-1 en route to the final. The Germans have won the three most recent encounters.

Scotland have never faced Hungary in a competitive match but have won three of their previous nine encounters, while they beat the Swiss 1-0 in Euro 96 at Villa Park – the teams’ last competitive encounter.

Clarke told the BBC: “It’s nice to open the tournament and nice to be involved in that first game and hopefully we can set the tournament off with a good match.

“We’ve got to make sure it’s not about the occasion and it’s about the match. We look forward to it, it’s an exciting draw.

“I don’t think it mattered who we were going to get, it was always going to be exciting for us. (It is) nice to be involved in the draw process and (we are) looking forward to next summer now.”

Scotland will take on the hosts
Scotland will take on the hosts Scotland will take on the hosts (Adam Davy/PA)

Clarke expects Germany to provide a warm welcome to the Tartan Army, adding: “They had better be ready for a lot of Scotsmen coming! It’s great to be involved and hopefully everyone can have a great time next summer.”

England’s opening match will be against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen. The team then move on to Frankfurt to take on Denmark, who they beat in the semi-final of Euro 2020. Their final group match will be against Slovenia in Cologne, a team England beat in their final group match at the 2010 World Cup.

Wales have never faced France at a tournament but did beat Les Bleus 1-0 in June 1982, before the French went on to reach that year’s World Cup semi-finals.

Rob Page and his team will not relish facing the Dutch, having lost all 10 previous encounters with them, including a 7-1 defeat in November 1996 in qualification for the France 98 World Cup.

England head coach Gareth Southgate arrives ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 draw
England head coach Gareth Southgate arrives ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 draw England head coach Gareth Southgate arrives ahead of the UEFA Euro 2024 draw (Adam Davy/PA)

Page told the BBC: “It looks like one of the toughest group there. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get there but the rewards are there.

“We’re all in football because we want to play against the best teams, players and managers and they certainly fall into that category.”

European champions Italy were drawn in Group B against Spain, Croatia and Albania while Belgium, Slovakia and Romania will be up against the winners of play-off path B in Group E.

Group F is headed up by Portugal, who won all 10 of their qualifiers, alongside Turkey, the Czech Republic and the winner of play-off path C.