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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

England search for solution to Euro2008 impasse

England will attempt to resolve their Euro 2008 fixture impasse this week to revent UEFA imposing their own schedule on Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor.

A first attempt to arrange the qualifying campaign ended in failure last month.

While England managed to agree their own fixture list, there was disagreement among the other countries - Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, Macedonia and Andorra.

It is thought the major stumbling block is Russia's preference not to play matches in the two allotted dates in March because of its proximity to the start of their domestic campaign.

UEFA officials are ready to step in and have confirmed they will draw lots on March 9 to determine the schedule if an agreement is not reached at a meeting in Switzerland on Friday, organised by Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick.

While England are favourites to advance into the finals as one of the top two teams in the group, the difficulty of their task could be increased if a random draw went against them.

Common sense dictates whoever replaces Eriksson following this summer's World Cup would prefer not to play in June - after an arduous club campaign - and especially in Russia, whose own players would be far fresher.

However, the FA accept a June date is almost inevitable if UEFA are forced to intervene - highlighting the need to reach an agreement on Friday.