The 32 teams for the 2010 World Cup Finals:
EUROPE ZONE England, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Serbia , Denmark, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Greece *France *Portugal *Slovenia * (* secured a place via the play-off’s.)
ASIA ZONE Australia, DPR Korea, Japan, Korean Republic.
AFRICA ZONE South Africa (Hosts), Algeria *Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana.
SOUTH AMERICA ZONE: Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay *
NORTH, CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN ZONE: Mexico, Honduras, USA.
OCEANIA ZONE : New Zealand *
Taken directly from Project 2010 no 161:
The 2010 World Cup began in earnest more than two years ago in Samoa – more than 15 0000 km from the 2010 final venue at Soccer City – and 13 times zones away. The tiny town of Apia which kick started the monumental qualifying process and that process has gone full circle with last night’s final qualifying matches with down-to-the-wire clashes between France and Ireland, Bosnia and Portugal, Ukraine and Greece, Slovenia and Russia, Uruguay and Costa Rica and, of course, bitter rivals Algeria and Egypt. There have been plenty of ups and downs – on and off the field – including stampedes in Monrovia and Abidjan which left scores of spectators dead. But the very good news for 2010 hosts South Africa is that next year’s edition of the global showpiece of international soccer will see virtually all the planet’s heavyweights competing. These include five-time champions Brazil, Argentina (by a whisker), Germany, England, Italy and France (courtesy of Thierry Henry’s blatant double handball). The pedigree of these nations raises the quality of the tournament and guarantees that they will be accompanied by hoards of free-spending supporters. There is a great deal of interest in the African contingent and with Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria all securing their places, the chances of a ’home’ country reaching the final of the tournament have never been better. The host nation, now languishing in 85th place in the world rankings has been written off, but the same applied to 2002 co-hosts South Korea who made it to the semi-finals thanks to some impressive coaching and a surge of local support. The next key 2010 event is the Final Draw in Cape Town on December 4. The ceremony which will be viewed by an estimated 700 million television viewers in 200 countries will determine which countries play where, signaling the start of the final preparations for the first World Cup on African soil.