England may draw Scotland
Glenn Moore on a European draw with hidden depths
After Tuesday's World Cup draw produced several potentially inflammatory ties involving the former component parts of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia Uefa did consider keeping the British teams apart in tomorrow afternoon's draw for the final stages of the European Championships.
However, yesterday they decided against a "fix". England and Scotland, bound together by a single government since 1707, free from internecine war since 1746, and separate entities only in sporting matters, may play each other in the group stages after all. The Wembley goalposts will be trembling already.
When it comes to presenting the draw from Birmingham's International Convention Centre England and Scotland will definitely be together. With both main terrestrial channels televising events live duties will be shared by Sue Barker, of the BBC and England, and Bob Wilson, of ITV and Scotland.
The draw will be made, not by such celebrities as Denis Law or Pele, but by the instantly recognisable figures of Gerhard Aigner and Lennart Johansson, the general secretary and president of Uefa. The pair have, boast Uefa, jointly officiated at more than 100 draws. No excuse for nerves then.
Since only four teams are seeded, England, Denmark, Spain and Germany, the draw ought to be simple. But then it would be over too quickly - there are 1,500 guests, 600 journalists and an estimated 400 million television viewers to impress. So a complicated three-stage system of balls and bowls has been devised.
It is so cunning that very few people at Euro '96 seem able to explain it but it may work something like this. First the 12 unseeded teams will be drawn and placed, one by one, in groups one to four, so the first, fifth and ninth teams drawn will be in group one, the second, sixth and 10th in group two, and so on.
Then the seeds will be drawn and placed in groups. Whichever group England are in will be redesignated A (Wembley and Villa Park). The other groups will have their letter drawn from yet another bowl. B is Leeds and Newcastle, C is Old Trafford and Anfield, D is Hillsborough and the City Ground.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...
£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...