- Title: SOUTH AFRICA/SWITZERLAND: FOOTBALL/SOCCER: France not seeded for World Cup draw
- Date: 3rd December 2009
- Summary: ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (NOVEMBER 15, 2009) (REUTERS) ARGENTINA FOOTBALL TEAM COACH DIEGO MARADONA ARRIVING AT ZURICH AIRPORT IN SWITZERLAND
- Embargoed: 19th December 2009 11:46
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA8GIT5JZK7R3BZIQEP5VLY6VG0
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: France, World Cup winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006, missed out on a place in the eight top seeds for Friday's draw, announced by FIFA on Wednesday.
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told a news conference the decision had been based on the world rankings and had no connection with the controversy over France's infamous "handball" goal against Ireland.
" Holland had a great qualifying campaign as did England and Spain. They won most of their matches if not all of their matches...Holland has played a great campaign so they are in pot one." Valcke told reporters.
The top seeds are hosts South Africa, holders Italy, Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.
France are left as the most dangerous floating team who could be drawn in the same group as any one of the top eight seeds.
The draw for the finals, being staged in South Africa from June 11 to July 11, will be made in a 90-minute television spectacular starting at 1700 GMT on Friday.
The 32 teams will be drawn into four groups of eight. Apart from the seeds, teams will be placed in pots which will largely avoid teams from the same continent meeting each other.
Pot 1 will comprise the eight top seeds with South Africa already sure to play in Group A and in the opening match at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium on June 11.
The second pot will comprise eight teams from Asia, North and Central America and Oceania -- Australia, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, North Korea, South Korea and United States.
The third pot will be the five other African countries and three remaining South American nations -- Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The final pot is made up of the eight remaining teams from Europe -- Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Valcke said there had been an agreement within the organising committee to base the seedings on the FIFA world rankings for October.
The decision on how the seedings and pot grouping work means that the seeded teams would most fear being drawn into a group which included the United States from pot two, Ivory Coast from pot three and France from pot four.
When asked how FIFA would react if Argentina Head Coach Diego Maradona appeared in Cape Town this week Valke told reporters that the former World Cup Winner would not be granted accreditation by FIFA following his two months ban for using abusing language in a news conference.
"We have been very clear because there were some rumours that he would be joining the Argentine delegation, I sent a letter again to say be aware that he is banned and we are asking you to make sure that he is not coming."
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