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2010 FIFA World Cup seeding

The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup occurred in Cape Town, South Africa, on 4 December 2009, at 19:00 local time (UTC+2). In preparation for the draw, the qualified teams were seeded and organised into pots.


The criteria for the seeding was released on 2 December and was, in contrast to previous World Cup seeding criteria, based solely upon the October 2009 FIFA World Rankings. Use of the most recent rankings prior to the draw (November 2009) was thought to unfairly benefit those nations who had played competitive fixtures in qualification playoffs during that month, at the expense of those who had already booked their place in the tournament.[1]

The seven highest seeded teams according to the ranking criteria were placed in Pot 1, alongside the host nation South Africa (who were predetermined to be in Group A).

Association FIFA Ranking
October 2009
  South Africa (hosts) 85
  Brazil 1
  Spain 2
  Netherlands 3
  Italy 4
  Germany 5
  Argentina 6
  England 7
  France 9
  Portugal 10
  United States 11
   Switzerland 13
  Cameroon 14
  Greece 16
  Chile 17
  Mexico 18
  Ivory Coast 19
  Serbia 20
  Paraguay 21
  Australia 24
  Uruguay 25
  Denmark 27
  Algeria 29
  Nigeria 32
  Slovakia 33
  Honduras 35
  Ghana 38
  Japan 40
  South Korea 48
  Slovenia 49
  New Zealand 83
  North Korea 91

The drawEdit

Teams were organized into four pots of eight teams. The seeded teams were placed in Pot 1 and the remaining teams were placed into Pots 2-4 on a geographical basis, as below.

Pot 1 (Seeds) Pot 2 (Asia, North America & Oceania) Pot 3 (Africa & South America) Pot 4 (Europe)

  South Africa (hosts)

  North Korea
  South Korea
  United States
  New Zealand

  Ivory Coast


The basic draw procedure was to draw out the pots starting from Pot 1. One team from each pot would be placed, in order of being drawn, into one of eight groups from A to H. After each team was allocated to a group, its position in the group was also drawn. This determined the team's placement in the predetermined fixture schedule. This was with the exception of the seeded teams, who were automatically placed in their group's Position 1.

In order to maintain geographical separation of teams, the basic draw procedure had to be modified for the drawing of Pot 3. No South American teams could be placed into Brazil or Argentina's groups, and no African team could be placed in South Africa's group. In order to accommodate this, the first two African teams drawn would be placed immediately into Brazil and Argentina's groups. South Africa's group (predetermined to be Group A) was to be left vacant until filled by the first South American team drawn. Beyond these considerations, the principle of filling from A to H applied.[2]

In the event, the first two teams drawn from Pot 3 were Nigeria and Ivory Coast, who were placed in Argentina's Group B and Brazil's Group G respectively. Algeria were then placed in Group C so that a South American team, Uruguay, could be placed with South Africa in Group A.[3]


  1. ^ "Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – note to media". Cape Town. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  2. ^ "2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final Draw Procedure" (PDF). FIFA. 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  3. ^ Final Draw Animation