Netherlands seeded for 2010 World Cup

2nd December 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands are one of the eight seeded teams for the 2010 World Cup draw.

Cape Town – The Netherlands were among the eight seeded teams announced Wednesday for the 2010 World Cup.

World football's governing body said the seeds were selected according to the FIFA rankings as of October, so Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, defending champions Italy, Germany, Argentina, and England made the grade.

The seeding system is aimed at spreading the top teams across the groups so they don’t meet each other at the outset of the competition.

"Holland had a great qualifying campaign, like Spain, the first team having won all their matches, so Holland are in Pot 1," explained FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke on why they deserved their seeding.

Experts disagree on the pros and cons of the Netherlands being among the seeded countries.

According to experts, the Netherlands might get away with playing the likes of Slovakia, Algeria or Honduras, but it could equally have to contend with Portugal, Nigeria or Austria.

Also in Pot 1 is host nation South Africa who will play the opening game of the tournament on June 11 at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

The 63 matches that follow will span South Africa, from Polokwane in the northeast to Cape Town in the southwest, culminating in the final in the capital on 11 July.

The seeding criteria differs from the last World Cup in Germany when they were allocated on team's world rankings over the past three years, with performances at the previous two tournaments also taken into account.

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

Each country plays three first round fixtures with those finishing first and second on the final standings advancing to the four-round knockout phase.

World Cup winners form an exclusive club with just seven members - Brazil (five titles), Italy (four), Germany (three), Argentina and Uruguay (two each) and England and France (one apiece).

No team from Africa or Asia has ever lifted the trophy, and appears unlikely to do so next year.

But the prospects are brighter in South America with Brazil leading the pack, although an exciting and young Chilean side has also proved its credentials.

The groups will be drawn from four pots, the first of which contains the top seeds:

Pot 1: Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Germany, England
Pot 2: Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, Honduras
Pot 3: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay
Pot 4: France, Portugal, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia

One team at a time will be drawn from each pot to produce eight groups in the first round.

AFP / Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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