Big guns await Euro 2012 fate

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WARSAW, February 5 – Europe's footballing aristocracy gather in Warsaw on Sunday with the fates of Russian coach Guus Hiddink and scandal-hit England captain John Terry overshadowing the Euro 2012 qualification draw.While England’s Italian coach Fabio Capello is expected to lead the ‘Three Lions’ into September’s opening qualification games for Euro 2012, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea’s Terry will remain as England captain.

The centre-back’s extra-marital affair with a French model hit the British tabloids last week and he could lose his captaincy over the scandal, while Russia’s coach Hiddink has yet to confirm whether he will stay on.

Dutchman Hiddink flew to Moscow on Wednesday night ahead of talks with the Russian Football Federation to discuss his contract which expires this summer and he has already been linked with a return to the Premier League.

Both Capello and ex-Chelsea coach Hiddink will be in Warsaw for Sunday’s draw at 12pm (CET) with both of their teams in the first pot for Euro 2012 which is being co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine.

"I like my job and I hope to be still here in 2012," said Capello, who is expected to decide Terry’s fate before England’s friendly with Egypt on March 3 at Wembley.

"Of course that depends on the FA and results at the World Cup, but I like being England manager and I hope to carry on."

Although Russia failed to qualify for the World Cup, they are amongst the top seeds and join holders Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, France and Croatia in the first pot.

The second pot of seeds contains five World Cup finalists in Slovakia, Serbia, Euro 2004 winners Greece, 1992 winners Denmark and Switzerland, plus the Czech Republic, Turkey, Romania and Sweden.

The Euro 2012 finals will take place from June 8 to July 1 2012 in eight host cities – four in each of the two countries – with the final set to be held in Kiev.

The draw will take place here in Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science where 51 of the 53 UEFA member associations will take part as hosts Poland and Ukraine qualify automatically for the tournament.

The 51 teams will be divided into six groups of six teams and three groups of five teams.

The teams in each group will play one another on a home and away basis, with qualifying matches scheduled between September 2010 and November 2011.

The winners of the nine groups and the best runner-up qualify directly for the final tournament.

The eight remaining runners-up will have to battle it out in play-off matches to decide which teams grab the remaining four tickets for Euro 2012.

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