Sports | January 25, 2002, Friday // 00:00

The Bulgarian team will take on Belgium in its qualifying campaign for the Euro 2004 soccer championship. The Bulgarians will also play against Croatia, Estonia and Andorra in qualifying group 8, according to Fridayґs draw. Plamen Markov, coach of the national football team, expressed satisfaction with the draw. According to him Bulgaria fell into the relatively easy Group 8, since it includes none of the favorites such as France, Spain and Italy. Bulgaria - Croatia friendly match, scheduled for February 13, will take place, despite the fact that the two countries are in one and the same group. The official draw ceremony for the EURO 2004 qualifiers took place at the Europarque Congress Centre in the small Portugal town of Santa Marнa da Feira on January 25, 2002. The 50 competing nations were divided into 10 qualifying groups. They have 60 days to agree on dates for their games. The winners of each qualifying group take a berth in the final round. The 10 runners-up will contest home-and-away playoff matches to fill the remaining five places. Portugal qualifies automatically as host of the event.

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