The seedings for the 2010 World Cup Draw are announced today. They are based on the FIFA world ranking of the teams in question, together with the performance of the nations in the last three World Cup Tournaments. However, the actual formula used is a top secret blend of 13 herbs and spices which means that FIFA can tweak it quietly behind the scenes to allow their favoured countries a smoother ride through the competition, just like they did with the European play-offs.
With South Africa almost certainly guaranteed a seeded position, there are seven other places up for grabs in the first pool. Timeslive.co.za has them down as follows:
First pool: South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, France
France won the 1998 World Cup, but crashed out with scoring a goal 4 years later, recovering to be beaten finalists last time around. This could mean that they sneak into the first pool, despite only sneaking into the competition via Thierry “Cheating Bastard” Henry’s much-documented handball in their playoff against Ireland.
This would not be a good thing for England’s World Cup hopes unless (possibly) they were drawn against South Africa. The remainder of the pools might look like this:
Second pool: England, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia
Third pool: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay
Fourth pool: Honduras, Mexico, United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand
Or they might not. So much of speculation.
So, having reviewed my successful ticket application (for 6 games in Cape Town), I can safely say that it looks like I will see just about anyone playing just about anyone else.
Except the Irish, obviously.
UPDATE: England seeded, France & Portugal not.
Pots for Friday’s draw: eight groups of four countries to be drawn, each group containing one country from each pot.
Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England
Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America): Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, Honduras
Pot 3 (Africa and South America): Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay
Pot 4 (Europe): France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia