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World Cup Seedings


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Seeds set for 2002 World Cup

Nov. 29, 2001. 09:04 AM

PUSAN, South Korea (AP) — Germany and Spain have been seeded for Saturday's World Cup draw, joining defending champion France, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and the two co-hosts, Japan and South Korea.

France, which did not have to qualify as defending champion, was assured of being seeded. It will head Group A and will kick off the tournament on May 31 next year in Seoul.

As co-hosts of next year's event, Japan and South Korea also have been seeded, although their results and low ranking would never justify it. South Korea heads Group D and Japan tops Group H.

Seeding is important because it distributed the top eight teams across the eight first-round groups. It gives the seeded teams a chance to avoid other top squads in the first round.

Unseeded teams do not have that luxury.

England, which thrashed Germany 5-1 in September and finished ahead of Germany in its qualifying group, had been considered for one of the seeded places but did not get it. England is also ahead of Germany in FIFA's latest rankings.

Croatia and Nigeria also had been considered.

The seeding decision came during a meeting yesterday of the organizing committee of the World Cup in this South Korean port city, which will also host Saturday's draw.

FIFA's decision on the seedings was based on the results of the last three World Cups, plus the results over the last three years and the FIFA rankings, FIFA secretary general Michel Zen-Ruffinen said.

Brazil, the only four-time champion in soccer's premier competition, received the highest number of points, 62, said FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Argentina and Italy had 56 each, followed by Germany with 54, France with 47 and Spain with 45.

Among the non-seeded teams, England had 41 and ranked below Mexico with 42.

Saturday's draw will put 32 teams into eight groups of four countries each.

The seeded teams go into one pot. The 11 non-seeded European teams will constitute the second pot and FIFA will jigger the draw to avoid having three European teams in one group, Zen-Ruffinen said.

FIFA will also try to avoid having teams from the same continental confederation playing all their games in one of the two co-hosting countries.

"We are talking about trying to create some balance," Zen-Ruffinen said.

The third pot will consist of Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, plus China and Saudi Arabia.

China will be allocated to a group playing in South Korea for ``geographical and economical reasons," Zen-Ruffinen said. That means the Saudis will be playing in Japan.

The fourth pot will consist of South Africa, Tunisia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, plus Costa Rica, Mexico and the U.S.

The World Cup kicks off May 31 and ends with the June 30 final at Yokohama, Japan.

MONEY MATTERS: All 32 countries competing in next year's World Cup will receive 1 million Swiss francs ($990,190 Cdn.) from FIFA toward the cost of preparations. Teams received 750,000 Swiss francs ($743,925 Cdn.) to prepare for France '98.

NORTH NO-NO: North Korea is unlikely to host any World Cup matches in 2002, FIFA and South Korean officials said yesterday. The Korean organizing committee invited North Korea to host one or two matches, but the communist North has not responded. "I thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but today it's too late," said Lennart Johansson, chairman of FIFA's organizing committee.

ON THE WEB: Soccer's world governing body has launched its official Web site of the 2002 World Cup. FIFAworldcup.com is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

PENALTIES CANCELLED: Yellow cards collected by players during the qualifying campaign will be waived and will not count in the World Cup finals. Even players with two yellow cards, who normally would have been suspended in the next match, will be pardoned, FIFA decided yesterday.

Only those who have received red cards and have not served their automatic one-match suspension will miss their team's opening match

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Owen Owen blah blah blah

without a David Beckham, there would be no England......

how can one score goals if the ball does not get through?


I dont see Owen in the running for Footballer of the Year

Owen is as over-rated as John Fishman

(maybe this post will bring PoG out of hiding finally)

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