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Rediff.com  » Sports » India get tough draw for World Cup qualifier

India get tough draw for World Cup qualifier

December 06, 2003 15:16 IST

India have been drawn in Group 3 along with Japan, Oman and Singapore in the Asian qualifying group for the 2006 World Cup football finals in Germany.

South Korea, who played in six previous World Cup finals, were drawn with Lebanon, Vietnam and Maldives in Group 7 while Hong Kong and China, were in Group 4 along with Malaysia and Kuwait.

India were in the third of four pots of eight teams, which make-up the 32 team Asian qualifiers to the 2006 World Cup.

The Asian draw divided the region's 32 sides into eight groups of four teams. At least four slots are set aside for Asian teams at the finals. There is also another so-called half-slot up for grabs, an extra berth they can fight over with CONCACAF.

At the 2002 World Cup, Japan reached the second round for the first time while South Korea became the first Asian team to reach the semi-finals, upsetting Spain and Italy on the way.

A total of 39 Asian countries applied to compete at the soccer showcase event. The top 25 Asian nations, including powerhouses Japan and South Korea, were guaranteed a berth in the qualifying round.

Collated draw for the preliminary round of the 2006 World Cup made on Friday:

EUROPE

Number of finalists: 13 plus hosts Germany.

Three groups of seven teams, five groups of six play a league system on a home and away basis. The eight group winners and two best runners-up qualify for the finals. The other six runners-up play off to determine the other three finalists.

Group 1 1. Czech Republic 2. Netherlands 3. Romania 4. Finland 5. Macedonia 6. Armenia 7. Andorra

Group 2 1. Turkey 2. Denmark 3. Greece 4. Ukraine 5. Georgia 6. Albania 7. Kazakhstan

Group 3 1. Portugal 2. Russia 3. Slovakia 4. Latvia 5. Estonia 6. Liechtenstein 7. Luxembourg

Group 4 1. France 2. Ireland 3. Switzerland 4. Israel 5. Cyprus 6. Faroe Islands

Group 5 1. Italy 2. Slovenia 3. Scotland 4. Norway 5. Belarus 6. Moldova

Group 6 1. England 2. Poland 3. Austria 4. Wales 5. Northern Ireland 6. Azerbaijan

Group 7 1. Spain 2. Belgium 3. Serbia & Montenegro 4. Bosnia 5. Lithuania 6. San Marino

Group 8 1. Sweden 2. Croatia 3. Bulgaria 4. Iceland 5. Hungary 6. Malta

- - - -

AFRICA

Number of finalists: Five.

Second stage: Five groups of six teams play a league system on a home and away basis. Five group winners qualify.

Group 1 1. Senegal 2. Mali 3. Zambia 4. Togo 5. Liberia 6. Congo

Group 2 1. South Africa 2. Democratic Republic of Congo 3. Burkina Faso 4. Ghana 5. Uganda 6. Cape Verde Islands

Group 3 1. Cameroon 2. Egypt 3. Ivory Coast 4. Libya 5. Sudan 6. Benin

Group 4 1. Nigeria 2. Zimbabwe 3. Algeria 4. Angola 5. Gabon 6. Rwanda

Group 5 1. Tunisia 2. Morocco 3. Kenya 4. Guinea 5. Malawi 6. Botswana

- - - -

ASIA

Number of finalists: Four plus one into playoff.

Second stage: Eight groups of four teams play a league system on a home and away basis. Eight group winners advance to third stage.

Group 1 1. Iran 2. Qatar 3. Jordan 4. Laos

Group 2 1. Uzbekistan 2. Iraq 3. Palestine 4. Taiwan

Group 3 1. Japan 2. Oman 3. India 4. Singapore

Group 4 1. China 2. Kuwait 3. Malaysia 4. Hong Kong

Group 5 1. United Arab Emirates 2. Thailand 3. Yemen 4. North Korea

Group 6 1. Bahrain 2. Syria 3. Kyrgyzstan 4. Tajikistan

Group 7 1. South Korea 2. Lebanon 3. Vietnam 4. Maldives

Group 8 1. Saudi Arabia 2. Indonesia 3. Turkmenistan 4. Sri Lanka

- -

Third stage: Two groups of four teams play a league system on a home and away basis. Top two in each group qualify for the finals. The two third-placed finishers play off. The winner of the playoff goes into a playoff round against the CONCACAF qualifier.

- - - -

CONCACAF

Number of finalists: Three plus one into playoff.

First stage: 34 teams were drawn into 12 groups and play a cup system on a home and away basis -- Groups 1 to 7 and 9 to 11 (two rounds), Groups 8 and 12 (one round). The 12 group winners advance to second stage.

Group 1 Grenada v Guyana, winners v United States

Group 2 Bermuda v Montserrat, winners v El Salvador

Group 3 Haiti v Turks & Caicos Islands, winners v Jamaica

Group 4 British Virgin Islands v St Lucia, winners v Panama

Group 5 Cayman Islands v Cuba, winners v Costa Rica

Group 6 Aruba v Surinam, winners v Guatemala

Group 7 Antigua & Barbuda v Netherlands Antilles, winners v Honduras

Group 8 Canada v Belize

Group 9 Dominica v Bahamas, winners v Mexico

Group 10 U.S. Virgin Islands v St Kitts & Nevis, winners v Barbados

Group 11 Dominican Republic v Anguilla, winners v Trinidad & Tobago

Group 12 Nicaragua v St Vincent & Grenadines

- -

Second stage: Three groups of four teams play a league system on a home and away basis. Group 1 will consist of the four first stage winners from Groups 1 to 4, Group 2 from 5 to 8 and Group 3 from 9 to 12. The three group winners and three runners-up advance to the third stage. - -

Third stage: One group of six teams play a league system on a home and away basis. The top three teams qualify for the finals, the fourth-placed team go into a playoff against the Asian qualifier.

- - - -

OCEANIA

Number of finalists: One into playoff.

First stage: Two groups of five teams play a league system (two tournaments at two different venues). The group winners and runners-up advance to the second stage. They will be joined by seeded teams Australia and New Zealand who received byes.

Group 1 1. Tahiti 2. Solomon Islands 3. New Caledonia 4. Tonga 5. Cook Islands

Group 2 1. Fiji 2. Vanuatu 3. Papua New Guinea 4. Samoa 5. American Samoa

- -

Second stage: One group of six teams play a league system tournament at one venue. The group winners and runners-up advance to the third stage.

- -

Third stage: The two teams play off on a home and away basis with the winners going into a playoff against the team placed fifth in the South American qualifying group.

- - - -

SOUTH AMERICA

Number of finalists: Four plus one into playoff.

Preliminary tournament consisting of one group of 10 teams has already started. The top four qualify for the finals. The fifth-placed team goes into a playoff against the Oceania qualifier.

Source:
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