World champions Spain have been drawn against France in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while Romania will have to face Holland, Hungary and Turkey in group D, following the special drawing ceremony held in Rio de Janeiro last Saturday.
“It is a very balanced group with The Netherlands as big favourite. Romania will fight for the second place, with Turkey and Hungary,” FRF President Mircea Sandu said after the draw, quoted by Agerpres.
Elsewhere, 2006 world champions Italy face the likes of Denmark and the Czech Republic, while Germany will tackle Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in their section. Group A – Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Scotland and Wales – is sprinkled with local rivalries.
In another twist of fate, the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland and Ukraine found themselves in Group H along with England, Montenegro, Moldova and San Marino.
The European qualifying competition, to be played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013, has been divided into eight groups of six teams and one of five.
Here are the complete results of the draw on Saturday: Group A: Croatia Serbia Belgium Scotland Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Wales; Group B: Italy Denmark Czech Republic Bulgaria Armenia Malta; Group C: Germany Sweden Republic of Ireland Austria Kazakhstan Faroe Islands; Group D: Netherlands Turkey Hungary Romania Estonia Andorra; Group E: Norway Slovenia Switzerland Albania Iceland Cyprus; Group F: Portugal Russia Israel Northern Ireland Azerbaijan Luxembourg; Group G: Greece Slovakia Bosnia and Herzegovina Lithuania Latvia Liechtenstein; Group H: England Montenegro Ukraine Poland Moldova San Marino; Group I: Spain France Belarus Georgia Finland.