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panoramix
12-05-05, 10:01 PM
After many months' hard slog in pursuit of a place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany?, the coaches of the 32 qualified countries will be in attendance at the Leipzig Exhibition Centre on Friday 9 December for the Final Draw. And by the end of proceedings, they will know what, and who, to expect in the first round of football's most prestigious event.

This highly colourful evening, hosted by model Heidi Klum and television presenter Reinhold Beckmann, will be nothing short of a celebration of football. The high point of the night will be preceded by a feast of entertainment, including musical performances by Colombian singer Juanes and the German Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, plus a show by magician Hans Klok that is sure to enchant young and old alike. The master of ceremonies for the draw itself will be FIFA Director of Communications Markus Siegler.

Germany in Group A
To ensure the draw process is clearly understood, a few key points should be clarified. First, it is worth bearing in mind that ? wherever possible ? no two teams from the same continental zone can be drawn in the same group. The sole exception to this rule is the presence of a maximum of two teams from the European Zone in the same group, due to the high number of European qualifiers (14 including the German hosts).

As regards allocation to the different pots, there will be eight seeded teams, among them Germany, who have already been assigned to Group A. The seven other seeds will be determined on 6 December by the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup, on the basis of various criteria such as the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The eight chosen seeds will be placed in Pot 1, and drawn as the first teams in Groups A to H, from left to right. As mentioned above, it has already been decided that Germany will play in Group A.

The 24 remaining teams will then be assigned to Pots 2, 3 and 4 in such a way as to achieve the best possible geographical distribution between the groups. As soon as a team is drawn, another draw will be made to allocate this team its place in a group. Finally, so as to maintain the suspense to the end and most importantly, protect the integrity of the draw process, the order in which the pots will be drawn may be varied.
So make a date for Friday 9 December 2005 at 20:15 (local time) to follow the Final Draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup live on FIFAworldcup.com. As well as an application enabling you to follow the draw live, there will also be commentaries and explanations, plus live reaction from the personalities present.

In addition, a Fan Chat forum will be up and running from the afternoon of 9 December, allowing you to converse with supporters from all over the globe. All of this will be available in seven different languages, as FIFAworldcup.com is launching in Italian, Korean and Portuguese.