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Italy, possibly Netherlands not seeded in World Cup draw

18 October 2013, 13:35

Abuja - Record champions Brazil could play four-time winners, Italy, in the 2014 World Cup opener and holders Spain could meet the Netherlands in a group stage repeat of the 2010 final.

This is because neither the Azzuri nor the Dutch will be seeded in the tournament draw.

Releasing the latest world rankings on Thursday, the ruling body FIFA said that hosts Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and Switzerland would definitely be the seeded teams at the December 6 draw.

Uruguay will also be seeded if they beat outsiders Jordan in a two-legged World Cup play-off. If not, the Dutch will get the final spot just ahead of Italy.

Brazil and Italy are the two most successful World Cup teams and have met in two finals, with Brazil winning 4-1 in 1970 and on penalties in 1994.

Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the 2010 decider.

Also according to the latest rankings, Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Ukraine will be the seeded teams for the European World Cup play-off draw, with France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland.

Spain maintained first place in the rankings, with Germany back into second ahead of Argentina, followed by Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and England.

Italy dropped four places compared to the previous list and Brazil went out of top 10 again, dropping from three to 11th.

- dpa/NAN


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