European Championship 2017: Draw made for qualifying groups

Leanne Sanderson
England have never won the Women's European Championship but reached the final on two occasions

The draw for the qualifying phase of the 2017 Women's European Championship in Netherlands has been held.

England, who are ranked sixth in the world, will play against Belgium, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Estonia.

Wales' group includes 2013 runners-up Norway, while Northern Ireland will have to play a Switzerland side that has qualified for the 2015 World Cup.

Scotland's group includes Iceland and Belarus, with the Republic of Ireland paired with Spain and Finland.

The key dates
Qualifying group stage:14 September, 2015 to 20 September, 2016
Play-off draw: 23 September, 2016, Nyon
Play-offs:17 to 25 October, 2016
Finals draw: Late 2016, Netherlands
Finals: July/August 2017, Netherlands

England, one of eight European qualifiers for this summer's World Cup in Canada, have never won the European Championship, but have lost in the final on two occasions - in 1984 and 2009.

They won all 10 of their matches to qualify for the World Cup and manager Mark Sampson hopes his side can continue that form.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "We're the favourites to win the group and our qualifying record for the last competition was exemplary.

"If we reach the level of performance that we know we can then we can win this group. But there's no easy games at international level."

Netherlands qualify for the 2017 competition as hosts and they will be joined by the eight group winners and the six best runners-up.

The two remaining runners-up will compete in a two-legged play-off for the last place.

2017 Women's European Championship qualifying groups

Group 1: Iceland, Scotland, Belarus, Slovenia, Macedonia.

Group 2: Spain, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Montenegro.

Group 3: France, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Albania.

Group 4: Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Moldova.

Group 5: Germany, Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Croatia.

Group 6: Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Georgia.

Group 7: England, Belgium, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Estonia.

Group 8: Norway, Austria, Wales, Israel, Kazakhstan.

Top Stories