Wed, Dec 07, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Dutch left out as seeds for World Cup are revealed

DPA , LEIPZIG, GERMANY

The Dutch were the odd ones out as Argentina, England, Italy, France, Mexico and Spain were yesterday named seeds for next year's World Cup draw by the world governing body FIFA.

Addressing a press conference in Leipzig, where Friday's draw will take place, FIFA director of competitions, Jim Brown, said that the six teams join holders Brazil and hosts Germany as seeded teams.

Bad news

Brown said that the criteria used to determine the seeding were the teams' positions in the FIFA rankings in the last three years, as well as their placings in the last two World Cup finals -- with the 2002 event being counted double.

That was bad news for the Dutch, who are among the top teams in the world in the rankings but failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

Now the biggest suspense of the draw will be where in which group they will be placed -- with everything possible from a first round date with hosts Germany (with lots of memories of the 1974 final the Germans won) or another intriguing duel with Brazil.

Germany have already been allocated into Group A, while Brazil will be in Group F.

Both teams will play their group games in the biggest World Cup stadiums of Berlin, Dortmund and Munich and will not be able to meet until the final, provided they both win their respective groups.

The other seeds -- and the remaining 24 teams -- will be drawn into the eight groups on Friday night.

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