/ 2 December 2009

France, Portugal miss out on WC seeding

The Netherlands were among the eight seeded teams announced here Wednesday for the 2010 World Cup, but France and Portugal missed out.

World football’s governing body said the seeds were selected according to the Fifa rankings as of October, meaning Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and England made the grade.

South Africa were also seeded in Pot 1 as the host nation.

France and Portugal’s omission means they are in Pot 4 along with the rest of the Uefa teams, including Denmark, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Switzerland.

It means they will be drawn in the same group against one the heavyweight teams here on Friday.

”Holland had a great qualifying campaign, like Spain, the first team having won all their matches, so Holland are in Pot 1,” said Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke.

He denied France being relegated from the seeds had anything to do with the controversial way they qualified, with Thierry Henry’s handball putting them through at the expense of Ireland.

Pot two consists of Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Honduras, Mexico, USA, and New Zealand while Pot 3 features Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Algeria.

Fifa said the teams had been drawn with geographical criteria respected, meaning that no two teams from the same confederation will be drawn in the same group, except the Europeans where a maximum of two will be in a group. — AFP