UEFA sets fixture list of Euro 2016 host France

UEFA says 2016 European Championship host France will play

friendly matches during the qualifying program against teams placed

in the only five-team group.

The plan for France to play ”centralized friendlies” on

official dates is detailed in tournament regulations.

UEFA says it keeps France, which is exempt from qualifying,

”within the framework of the centralization of commercial

rights.”

European federations agreed to compensation from UEFA in

exchange for giving control of their broadcasting rights to Euro

2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.

Previous hosts could decide their entire fixture list. Euro 2012

co-host Poland’s opponents included the United States, Ecuador and

Mexico.

UEFA’s remaining 53 members will compete for 23 qualifying

places.

The draw in Nice on Feb. 23 will allocate eight six-team

qualifying groups and one five-team group.