The draw for the World Cup, involving 16 countries, was made in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital on Saturday (14 January).
The draw for the World Cup, involving 16 countries, was made in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital on Saturday (14 January). Buenos Aires is host to the competition, which starts in June.
SYNOPSIS: The draw was made in the modern San Martin Cultural Centre in the centre of the city. The 11 storey building housing auditoriums, theatres and movie houses will serve as the main press centre for journalists covering the competition.
The draw was held under strict security. Uniformed and plain clothes policemen as well as armed troops patrolled corridors inside the building and surrounding streets. Everybody who entered the building had to undergo a through search. Nobody was admitted to the draw without the necessary credentials and identification.
Once they'd got through the security screen the officials taking part in the ceremony got ready for the draw. There were officers from the ruling body of football, FIFA, representatives of the 16 countries taking part and members of the World Cup organizing body.
The World cup, the trophy the competition is all about was handed over to the President of the Argentine Football Federation by his opposite number from Germany who are the reigning champions.
Then the President of FIFA, Mr. Joao Havelange arrived, carrying his four-year-old grandson Ricardo Texeira, who made the draw.
The youngster, dipping his hand into a bag, pulled out numbered balls to decide the initial groupings. There are four groups made up of four teams in each.
After the initial matches the two leading teams from each group will move on to the second round. According to football experts Group One is one of the toughest ever drawn.
It includes the host country Argentina. Unlike the other three groups it seems that any of the four including France, Hungary and Italy, could qualify.