Paris: UEFA on Wednesday confirmed the seedings for the 2012 European Championship, raising the spectre of a 'group of death' including Spain, Germany, Portugal and France.
One of the outcomes of the qualifying play-offs that concluded on Tuesday was that France, European champions in 2000, dropped into the bottom pool of seeds.
It did mean, however, that France cannot be drawn alongside the Republic of Ireland, who they beat in controversial circumstances in a 2010 World Cup play-off after an infamous handball by Thierry Henry.
Ireland, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Portugal booked their places at Euro 2012 via the play-offs.
The top pool of seeds features world and European champions Spain, beaten World Cup finalists the Netherlands and co-hosts Poland and Ukraine.
The draw will take place in Kiev on December 2.
Republic of Ireland