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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 12:04 GMT
England seeded for 2006 World Cup
England have been placed among the top eight seeds for the 2006 World Cup.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side are in a top pool of hosts Germany, holders Brazil as well as Argentina, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.

England will now avoid meeting those countries in the group stages when the main draw for the tournament is made in Leipzig on Friday evening.

Under the seeding system used by Fifa, England came out second to Brazil and Italy narrowly beat the US into eighth.

Fifa's ranking co-efficient meant that performances at the 2002 World Cup, when England reached the quarter-finals, were given twice as much weight as at 1998.

They also took into account a country's world ranking over the last three years.

SEEDINGS TABLE
Brazil 64
England 51
Spain 50
Germany 48
Mexico 47
France 46
Argentina 44
Italy 44

"It's excellent news," England coach Eriksson told the Football Association website.

"I think it's right too. We are one of the teams that have the potential to do very well in Germany and we have some of the best players in the world.

"Finishing top of our qualification group, with the second best record in the whole of Europe, was a big achievement and I'm sure that has played a part in this decision."

Serbia and Montenegro were the lowest placed European qualifier and have been placed in a special pot to stop three countries from the zone being in the same group.

For the draw on Friday, around 3,700 people will be present in the auditorium at the huge trade fair hall in Leipzig's Neue Messe exhibition centre.

It is being transformed into a football stadium for the occasion.

The World Cup finals in Germany begin on 9 June 2006 and the final takes place in Berlin on 9 July.


POT ONE
Germany (hosts)
Brazil (holders)
Argentina
England
France
Italy
Mexico
Spain
POT TWO
Australia
Angola
Ghana
Ivory Coast
Togo
Tunisia
Ecuador
Paraguay

POT THREE
Croatia
Czech Republic
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
POT FOUR
Iran
Japan
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
Costa Rica
Trinidad & Tobago
US
Special pot: Serbia & Montenegro


Friday's draw will work in the following way:

  • The eight seeded teams will be drawn into eight different groups. Germany have already been allocated Group A and Brazil Group F.

  • Eight unseeded European sides will be drawn into the eight different groups.

  • The lowest-ranked European side Serbia and Montenegro will be allocated to one of the groups containing either Brazil, Argentina or Mexico to ensure there is no more than two European sides in any group.

  • A pot of the five African countries, Australia and the two remaining South American sides drawn into eight different groups.

  • A pot containing the four Asian countries, the USA, Costa Rica and Trinidad drawn into seven different groups.

    The winners of the World Cup final will earn 10.75m as part of a total prize pool of 130m for the tournament.

    Fifa announced on Tuesday that the 32 teams taking part will be guaranteed at least 2.6m each in prize money.


  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    Report: England among World Cup seeds




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