NYON, Switzerland (AP) " Olympic champion Germany has been drawn in a 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying group with Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and the Faeroe Islands.

Only the seven group winners in Europe's qualifying program advance directly to the 24-nation tournament hosted by France. The United States is the defending champion.

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sweden is top-seeded in a group with Denmark, Ukraine, Hungary, and Croatia.

Europe's best performer at the 2015 World Cup, third-place England, was drawn on Tuesday in a group with Russia, Wales, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kazakhstan.

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Russia and Ukraine were kept apart in the draw, extending a three-year policy by UEFA to avoid provoking political tensions between the neighbors.

European qualifying groups are played from September 2017 to September 2018. Seven winners advance and four runners-up enter a playoff knockout bracket to decide the final European qualifier in November 2018.

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European qualifying draw:

Group 1: England, Russia, Wales, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kazakhstan.

Group 2: Switzerland, Scotland, Poland, Belarus, Albania.

Group 3: Norway, Netherlands, Ireland, Slovakia, Northern Ireland.

Group 4: Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, Hungary, Croatia.

Group 5: Germany, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Faeroe Islands.

Group 6: Italy, Belgium, Romania, Portugal, Moldova.

Group 7: Spain, Austria, Finland, Serbia, Israel.