England seeded as France miss out
England have been seeded for the World Cup finals along with South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Argentina, FIFA announced at a press conference in Cape Town.
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• Full run down of the pots and qualifiers France have unexpectedly been unseeded after FIFA decided to move away from their usual system of taking into account past performances at the finals. It had been expected that Netherlands would miss out on being seeded, while reports on Wednesday morning also suggested that by taking an average of ranking over the past three years could result in England being unseeded. FIFA chose to base the seedings upon their October 2009 FIFA world rankings. That France have been placed into the general pot of European teams may be seen as punishment for their controversial win over Ireland in the World Cup play-offs. Pots 2-4 are based purely on a geopgraphical basis and there is no seeding to them. This is to ensure there will be no more than one team from any one confederation, and no pot with more than two European nations (of which there will be five). With France and Portugal both in the Pot 4, for the European region, being seeded still has its pitfalls. Pot 2 has teams from Asia, Concacaf and Oceania while Pot 3 contains qualifiers from Africa and South America. FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke insisted there was no agenda against France as a result of the play-off controversy from their game with the Republic of Ireland. Valcke said: "In the past the seedings have been determined by a mixture of world rankings and performances in past World Cups but this time the feeling was the October rankings most closely represented the best teams in the tournament. "We made the decision last month that the October rankings would be used because they were fairer - countries who had been involved in the play-offs would have had an unfair advantages because they would have played more games and that affects their rankings. "This is not a case of wanting Holland to be seeded in France, just that the feeling was the October seedings represented the best teams.'' The draw ceremony gets started at 18.00 GMT on Friday with the first ball due to be out of the hat at 19.00 GMT. Pots for Friday's draw: eight groups of four countries to be drawn, each group containing one country from each pot. South Africa, Brazil and Argentina cannot be drawn against another team from their own confederation. No more than two European teams can be in any one group.