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Germany-Italy-Spain-Brazil Seeded for World Cup

Posted November. 29, 2001 09:16,   


Eight countries were named as top seeds for the 2002 World Cup as follows; Korea, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Brazil.

The FIFA held the Organizing Committee for the FIFA 2002 World Cup (chairperson: vice president of FIFA Lennart Johansson) to make the seeding decision on performances in the last three World Cup finals of 1990, 1994 and 1998, and the current FIFA rankings at Paradise Hotel, Busan, yesterday.

In this meeting in which FIFA President Joseph Blatter, the organizing committee included Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Brazil in top seeds, along with co-hosts South Korea and Japan, and defending champion France.

The organizing committee has confirmed the seeded countries, accounting on evenly the performances in the last three World Cup finals of 1990, 1994 and 1998, and the positions of the teams in the FIFA world rankings at the end of 1999, 2000 and the current standings. For World Cup record, more points were allocated for France`98 than Italia`90 with a descending ratio of 3 to one. The committee did not take into consideration the request of the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) for including one African country in top seeds.

The remaining 24 countries besides eight seeded countries will be placed in each group according to the pot set by the FIFA. Until the 1994 U.S. World Cup, the group assignment had been accomplished on the basis of the rankings evaluated by `the FIFA Technical Study Group`. But the FIFA changed the group assigning method, according to which no more than two teams from the same continent will play in the same group, from last World Cup.

Meanwhile, Chung Mong-Joon, FIFA Vice President and Chairperson of the Korean Organizing Committee for the 2002 FIFA World Cup (KOWOC), said that he officially proposed to the FIFA that China should play its first round matches in South Korea. Chairman Chung added that "If a country is prearranged in a certain group, the draw for group assignment would be meaningless. But if necessary, the prearrangement can be counted on. And the Japanese side also has no objection for China to play in South Korea."

Jong-Koo Yang swon@donga.com