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Nov 19, 2009

Croatia surprise inclusion in Euro 2012 top seeds

The 2012 European Championship qualification seedings have been announced, with Croatia a surprise inclusion in the group of top seeds.

Euro 2008 champions Spain and beaten finalists Germany are joined by some familiar names in Pot One, though Croatia will be a top seed despite not even making the World Cup play-offs after finishing third in their qualifying group behind England and Ukraine.

Beaten play-off nation Russia are also included in the elite group, while World Cup 2010 qualifiers Greece, Switzerland, Serbia, Denmark and Slovakia are all only afforded a place in Pot Two.

Republic of Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina may feel a touch unlucky to be in Pot Three as the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden and Turkey are all included as second seeds despite failing to make the World Cup play-offs.

As joint hosts of the 2012 tournament, Ukraine and Poland are not required to qualify.

The UEFA co-efficients are decided by taking into consideration a team's performance in the 2006 World Cup finals and preceeding qualifying campaign, Euro 2008 and the preceeding qualifying campaign and 2010 World Cup qualifying, though UEFA do stress that "more recent results are given greater consideration".

Pot One: Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, England, Croatia, Portugal, France, Russia.

Pot Two: Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Turkey, Denmark, Slovakia, Romania.

Pot Three: Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Pot Four: Slovenia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Belarus, Belgium, Wales, FYR Macedonia, Cyprus.

Pot Five: Montenegro, Albania, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Iceland, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein.

Pot Six: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Malta, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino.

More information about how the co-efficents are decided can be found on the UEFA website.

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