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World Cup Draws Draws Attention to France

FIFA has announced the top seeds for World Cup 2010 in South Africa and France is, once again, in the spotlight regarding the Tournament.  This time it’s over seeding and I don’t think we can overlook the way in which the seeds were determined.

South Africa, Brazil, England, Spain, Holland, Italy, Germany, and Argentina are the Top 8 seeds for the 2010 Tournament.  As hosts South Africa gets in there (which is fine), but France and Portugal are off the list.

The seeds were determined by the FIFA World Rankings.  (Which I am fine with.)  However, the rankings that were used are from October of 2009, but the seedings weren’t announced until November of 2009.  Does this make sense to anyone?

If the November rankings had been utilized then England would have lost out to France in being in the Top 8.  Portugal missed out as well, but there’s no controversy surrounding their team so no one’s going to talk about how they got screwed in this decision.  I know that officials from FIFA said this would be “fairer” but I’m not understanding how it’s fair to use old rankings when teams are working hard up to the last minute to make themselves worthy of seeding.

The whole “Thierry Henry Handball Incident” must have something to do with it.  FIFA has already come out and said that they were going to investigate Henry’s penalty and decide on a course of action.  That’s great and all, but it seems like France is now being penalized with this seeding debacle.  It couldn’t have taken much to figure out that October’s Rankings left them out of the Top 8 and FIFA went with that.  (Using those same rankings also put England IN and that means Becks sells even more tickets.  I’d love to hear someone from FIFA try to explain that one.  Actually, I’d love to hear the honesty in “We need the money and Becks=money!”)

Anyways, I don’t think anything is going to happen to Mr. Henry simply because his team has already been penalized in the seedings.  Now all FIFA needs is a “frozen envelope” to make sure that France is in the hardest Group possible.