All eyes on Paris
Paris hosts the draw for the Euro 2016 finals on Saturday evening, with less than six months now to go before the start of the first 24-team tournament in the competition's history.
The coaches of the competing nations will be in attendance in the French capital to find out who their sides will come up against in the group stage of the European Championship, which kicks off on June 10, and what their route to the final might be.
But there will be one notable absentee from the draw after UEFA president Michel Platini lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a 90-day ban from all footballing activities on Friday.
The French legend had been hoping to overturn the ban he was handed in October by FIFA while an investigation was held into a two million Swiss franc (1.8m euro/$2m) payment he received from world football's governing body.
That would have allowed him to attend the draw for a competition he has done so much to help organise in his native country.
For the organisers, the absence of Platini, who inspired France to glory on the field when they last hosted the European Championship in 1984, has put a dampener on proceedings.
"As president of the organising committee I am disappointed," admitted organising committee head, Jacques Lambert, who is also a close friend of Platini's, at a press conference in Paris on Friday.
"He has been right behind us since the beginning."
While Platini will not be there, the draw ceremony at the French capital's Palais des Congres will be conducted by Bixente Lizarazu, part of the France side that won Euro 2000, and Ruud Gullit, a 1988 European champion with the Netherlands.
This is the first expanded Euros, as championed by Platini, up from 16 teams in 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
The hosts France, holders Spain and world champions Germany are all among the top seeds along with England, Portugal and Belgium, with Italy the biggest danger in pot two.
For England, the prospect of facing a rival from the British Isles is very real given that Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland are all in the fourth and final pot.
"It is not something that pleases or displeases me," said England manager Roy Hodgson. "It is just a fact of life and whatever teams we get we will do our best to beat them."
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill is hoping his side get to play the hosts in the tournament opener at the Stade de France on June 10.
"Playing France in the opening game would be a special experience," he told The Guardian.
"I suppose you would look to avoid Italy from pot two and probably an England game as well, simply because the attention around that could overshadow everything else."
Also waiting in the fourth pot are the likes of Iceland and Albania, two nations formerly dismissed as minnows who are looking forward to a first major tournament appearance.
"We have a chance against every team," Iceland striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson told AFP.