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Monday, October 19, 2009

2010 World Cup: The last two pots

If FIFA will use the same system as in previous tournaments (seed the first pot, the other three on geographical criteria), we'll have seeded pot with South Africa, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina and another European team (France/Portugal/Netherlands).

The second pot will contain the remaining 8 European teams.

What's left?

CAF: 5 teams
AFC: 4.5 teams
CONCACAF: 3.5 teams
rest of CONMEBOL: 2.5 teams
OFC: 0.5 teams

The playoffs are AFC - OFC (Bahrain vs. New Zealand - first leg finished 0 - 0 in Manama) and CONCACAF - CONMEBOL (Costa Rica vs. Uruguay, both matches in November).

Obviously, CAF and AFC can't be in the same pot.

1. Bahrain and Uruguay win the playoffs

CAF (5), AFC (5), CONCACAF (3), CONMEBOL (3)

Two options here: CAF + CONCACAF or CAF + CONMEBOL

Looking at the October rankings you have: all 3 CONMEBOL teams in the top 8 and 4 of the 5 AFC teams in the bottom 8. It's logical to keep AFC and CONMEBOL apart.

Pot C: Australia, Bahrain, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico, USA
Pot D: Algeria/Egypt, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon/Cameroon, Ghana, Paraguay, Tunisia/Nigeria, Uruguay

2. Bahrain and Costa Rica win the playoffs

CAF (5), AFC (5), CONCACAF (4), CONMEBOL (2)

Again, both CONMEBOL teams in the top 8, and 4 of the 5 AFC teams in the bottom 8. It's logical to keep AFC and CONMEBOL apart.

However, this leaves a pot with 9 teams. Since CAF + CONMEBOL looks like the stronger combination, I think we'll see a special pot for the highest ranked CONCACAF + AFC team (in this case USA).

Pot C: Australia, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico
Pot D: Algeria/Egypt, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon/Cameroon, Ghana, Paraguay, Tunisia/Nigeria
Special pot: USA

3. New Zealand and Uruguay win the playoffs

CAF (5), AFC (4), CONCACAF (3), CONMEBOL (3), OFC (1)

Again, CAF + CONMEBOl makes sense.

Pot C: Australia, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico, New Zealand, USA
Pot D: Algeria/Egypt, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon/Cameroon, Ghana, Paraguay, Tunisia/Nigeria, Uruguay

4. New Zealand and Costa Rica win the playoffs

CAF (5), AFC (4), CONCACAF (4), CONMEBOL (2), OFC (1)

CAF + CONMEBOL with New Zealand in order to keep things simple.

Pot C: Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Mexico, USA
Pot D: Algeria/Egypt, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon/Cameroon, Ghana, New Zealand, Paraguay, Tunisia/Nigeria

9 comments:

  1. IF FIFA chose to scrap the seeding based on result in previous World Cup and only use the FIFA November ranking it looks very thight who will finish top 7. Could it be any of Russia, France, Portugal, Argentina and England take the two last seeded spots depending on qualification and results in friendlies? I am also thinking if that happens Argentina might be the joker in the European pot 2.

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  2. With four possible combinations, you make a clear case for CONCACAF being placed in the Asian pot in all four cases. The small exception of course is the possible use of a Special Pot housing just the USA (in the Costa Rica & Bahrain case). So, anyone hoping the USA might get drawn against one of the weaker Asian teams should wish for the combination of Costa Rica and Bahrain.

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  3. I never understood the "special pot"
    It's basically just saying that the "special pot" team is being moved to the pot with the open spot in it. Think of it this way. All Pot 1's are picked. Pot 2's are picked (7 of the 8). Then all pot 3's are picked. The special pot just gets the "extra" pot 2 spot.

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  4. I dont think the case is clear for the CONCACAF teams being placed in the AFC pot. However, if you look at the average points in the October ranking (instead of ranking position), the three CONCACAF teams average 900 points while the three CONMEBOL teams only average 875. Points speak more to the relative strength of a team than the rank itself since teams are more tightly bunched further down the table.

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  5. Would it not make more sense to keep South America and North America in the same pot Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Honduras, USA, Mexico, Honduras + New Zealand.

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  6. Johnny Bananas, you are counting Honduras twice in your system.

    The only way it works is with CONMEBOL and CONCACAF in different pots.

    As a US fan, I hope that it ends up CONCACAF and CAF in one pot and CONMEBOL, AFC and New Zealand in the other, only because of our terrible history with African sides.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Yes I copied Honduras twice just like you made a mistake with my name (or was it deliberate?) ;0)

    Most logical and simple way is to have all nations from Americas in the same pot to give the best georgaphic spread. This has been FIFA's priority with the 3 pots outside the top eight seeded nations.

    USA, Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand.

    Ghana, Cameroon, Algeria, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, North Korea, South Korea, Japan

    Restrictions can be put in place to prevent AUS & NZ being drawn against Asian nations if desired, just like restrictions will prevent CONMEBOL natio0ns being drawn in Brazil & Argentina's group and the CAF nations from being drawn in in South Africa's group.

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  9. Also, in 2006 AFC was potted with Concacaf, Fifa may take this into consideration and pot them seperately for this tournament.

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