How Far In Advance Do Football Tickets Go On Sale World Cup Draw 2006

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World Cup Draw 2006

The draw for the 2006 Soccer World Cup was held in Leipzig, Germany on December 9, 2005. This is the biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games and has been eagerly awaited. The 32 teams were divided into 8 groups of four in a televised ceremony that was seen live in more than 160 countries. The top two teams from each group will advance to the direct knockout stages.

The first team drawn from the balls was England, could that be an omen, could they end the tournament by finishing first? FIFA had controversially seeded them second, due in part to their recent thrilling stoppage-time win over old foe Argentina.

Group A is made up of Germany, Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador

Group B consists of England, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden.

Group C consists of Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia and Montenegro and the Netherlands

Group D consists of Mexico, Iran, Angola and Portugal.

Group E consists of Italy, Ghana, the USA and the Czech Republic.

Group F consists of Brazil, Croatia, Australia and Japan.

Group G consists of France, Switzerland, South Korea and Togo

Group H consists of Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia

The matches will start in Munich on June 9 and will last for a month, the final will be played on July 9 in Berlin.

While it’s easy to look at the groups and pick the two likely qualifiers, we all know that’s not how it’s going to turn out. Memories of defending champions France’s failure to advance from the group stage in 2002, knocked out after barely scoring one goal by teams like Senegal, are fresh.

The oddsmakers were quick to slightly lower England’s odds to 6/1 to win the tournament thanks to what appears to be an easier pool. There will be hundreds of millions of pounds traded in this event around the world before the winners are known. You can still get a £20 free bet at betfair.com by entering the promo code 6CHE3VPWJ when prompted.

The favorites remain multiple winners and reigning champions Brazil, but the usual suspects Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, France, England, Argentina and Portugal have enthusiastic fans. Don’t forget Germany too, as on their home soil they will be very hard to beat, even if on paper they don’t have a great team this time. Trophies are never won on paper, and they will be there or around, they always will be.

Groups C and E seem the most difficult to classify. The African challenge is bigger and arguably stronger than ever, even though its two most successful nations, Nigeria and Cameroon, failed to do so this time. Can the Asian countries, particularly Japan and South Korea, keep up the huge progress they made in 2002, although of course that was at home, and it will be interesting to see how Australia fares. They have qualified for the first time since 1974 and recently beat England, albeit in a friendly match where England played two different teams during the match. Most Australian players ply their trade in the office of English Prime Minister, so they will know many of the other players well enough, and vice versa.

I must mention first-time qualifiers Trinidad and Tobago, the smallest nation to come to Germany, and how delighted they must have been to draw England. Their talisman and former European Cup winner Dwight York will lead his nation with great pride. Most T&T players play their football in the English lower leagues, but that will make them a more dangerous opponent, and England certainly won’t take them lightly.

It promises to be the biggest soccer tournament ever seen, and no doubt more foreign fans will travel to Germany than ever before. Provisional figures suggest England will have over 100,000 supporters alone, and when you consider that only 30,000 tickets will go on sale at some grounds, it promises to produce a great fight for them. The Netherlands, France and Italy will also have a large following, as will the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden and Poland. German hoteliers are in for a busy summer.

England are hoping to do well, although deep down everyone suspects another Brazilian victory led by their flamboyant star Ronaldhino, but a final between England and Brazil would be an attraction worth watching. That is the hope in England for sure.

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