Nice to hold Euro 2016 qualifying draw
The draw for the qualifying campaign for the 2016 European Championship will take place in Nice on March 9, 2014, the president of the tournament's organising committee told AFP on Thursday.
"Why Nice? Because we were looking for a city with enough hotel beds, and with the ability to hold and organise such an event," said Jacques Lambert, who confirmed the city's Palais Acropolis will host the draw.
The qualifying phase for the tournament, which will be held in France, will run from September 2014 to November 2015.
Lambert added that the draw for the finals will take place "in December 2015 in Paris, probably at the Palais des Congres".
Lambert indicated that the final is likely to be held on Sunday July 10, 2016, with the opening match set for either Friday June 10, Saturday June 11 or Sunday June 12.
The venue for the final itself has not yet been chosen, although it is likely to be held at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, just to the north of Paris.
"We are in no rush to do it (choose a venue). The Stade de France, Marseille and Lyon are all theoretically in a position to stage the final," said Lambert.
All three venues have, or will have, capacities of over 50,000, as UEFA require for the hosting of major tournament finals.
Marseille's Stade Velodrome is currently being refurbished to increase capacity to over 67,000, while Lyon are planning to build a brand new 58,000-capacity stadium in time for the finals.
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