THE National’s Euro 2024 charity sweepstake is hotting up with two heavyweights of the tournament set to get their campaigns underway on Monday in France and Belgium.

But first up, Romania – drawn from the pot by SNP election candidate Hannah Bardell  –  will be looking to make up for a limp exit from the group stages in Euro 2016 when they take on Ukraine in Munich.

It was actress and comedian Elaine C Smith who pulled out Ukraine. They are expected to qualify from Group E after making the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 and Smith will be hoping they progress deep into the tournament as she looks to win money for Scottish Women’s Aid.

Ukraine will be looking to star players such as Arsenal defender Oleksander Zinchenko and Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to steer them to victory.

While Romania have fewer names you’ll recognise, they had an excellent qualifying campaign topping a group that featured Switzerland and Israel, so Bardell will be praying they can get off to a good start as she looks to win money for Chrons and Colitis UK.

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Elsewhere, Kevin De Bruyne’s Belgium will get their campaign up and running against Slovakia in what will be the first competitive fixture between these two sides.

Veteran SNP politician Pete Wishart – whose chosen cause is Scottish Charity Air Ambulance – has drawn the Belgians and he will be hoping Romelu Lukaku has got his shooting boots on after he scored a superb 14 goals in qualifying.

Belgium are playing at their third consecutive Euros and with a  team packed full of talent they will be desperately hoping to make it further than the quarterfinals where their last two tournaments ended.

Kevin De Bruyne's Belgium are playing in their third Euros in a rowKevin De Bruyne's Belgium are playing in their third Euros in a row

But Slovakia also had a brilliant qualifying campaign finishing second behind Portugal and winning seven of their 10 matches. Author Jenny Colgan will be right behind them as she looks to secure a windfall for Kidney Research UK.

In the final fixture of the day, France will take on Austria in Dusseldorf which brings about a clash between comedian Zara Gladman and National columnist Ruth Wishart.

Gladman, known to many as Lady Alba, has picked Medical Aid for Palestinians as her chosen charity and has drawn a strong contender in France who have twice won the competition and will be looking to secure a third title under Didier Deschamps who led them to the World Cup in 2018.

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Wishart’s Austria, meanwhile, are definitely ones to watch under their coach Ralf Rangnick who has transformed the team.

They performed well in qualifying finishing just a point behind group winners Belgium and are taking  part in their third Euros in a row, having reached the knockout stages for the first time in Euro 2020.

If Austria were to take the Euro 2024 title, Wishart would donate her prize to Medicin Sans Frontieres.