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Did Henry handball cause France a #1 seed?

FIFA has officially announced its seedings for Friday’s World Cup draw. The big surprise is in the #1 seeds which does not include France.

The eight seeded teams in the draw are: Brazil, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, Argentina, South Africa and England. That means that Portugal, currently ranked fifth in the world rankings, and France, who are seventh are now in the European pot four and none of the seeded teams will look forward to playing either country.

Before the World Cup playoffs began, it was expected that France would be one of the seeded teams at the expense of Holland, but the fallout from the handball continues as France’s path to the knockout rounds just got a lot harder.

When the draw is made, geographical criteria will also be respected, which means that no two teams from the same confederation will be drawn in the same group (except European teams, where a maximum of two will be in a group). For example, South Africa cannot play the African teams from Pot 3 and Argentina and Brazil cannot be drawn against the three remaining South American teams.

So basically one of the South American teams will be in South Africa’s group and the other two teams from that region will end up against European opponents.

Official Pots for Friday’s draw:
Pot 1 (seeds): South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England
Pot 2 (Asia, Oceania and North/Central America): Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, Honduras
Pot 3 (Africa and South America): Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay
Pot 4 (Europe): France, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Greece, Serbia, Denmark, Slovakia