FIFA 2010 World Cup Draw Preview

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The battle lines for next year’s World Cup will be laid down in Cape Town tonight when the draw is made for football’s grandest event.

Charlize Theron, David Beckham and a multitude of other football superstars and luminaries will grace the ceremony. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and the Oscar-winning actress will choose the balls from the four pots to create the eight groups. It will take place in the city’s International Convention Centre starting at around 7pm (12 noon ET, 5 pm UK).

Each of the eight groups will be comprised of four teams, one from each pot. However, no two sides from the same geographical confederation can draw each other (with the exception of Europe). For example, Brazil and Argentina cannot play the three remaining South American teams from Pot 3.

South Africa, being the host, will have a top seed even though it is ranked 86th in the world. Thus it will avoid such powers as Spain, Brazil, Germany and England in group play.

But no matter who gets drawn with who, there are sure to be several players and coaches smiling at their luck and others who might be more inclined to burst into tears.

By the end of the draw, all of the countries involved will know their group-stage opponents and the date and venue of every game during the tournament which kicks off on June 11.

World Cup Pots

Pot 1 (Seeded teams): Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, England, Argentina and South Africa.

Pot 2: Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, Honduras, South Korea, North Korea and Japan.

Pot 3: Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria

Pot 4: Greece, Serbia, Denmark. Slovakia, France, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland

Note: This has angered the French, who felt they should have been seeded after winning the World Cup in 1998 and reaching the final four years ago. Big teams such as Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Norway, Senegal, Togo, Iran and China, however, have failed to qualify.

Television networks around the globe will be sharp-eyed. They will replay the video of the draw, in regular speed and slow motion, looking for evidence of plots and schemes. But for those with no access to TV don’t worry because you can watch the FIFA World Cup 2010 Draw online (free live streaming video) here.