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S. Korea in pot three with Asian, American qualifiers for FIFA World Cup

S. Korea in pot three with Asian, American qualifiers for FIFA World Cup

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Published : 2013-12-04 09:41
Updated : 2013-12-04 09:41

South Korea has ended up in a pot with other Asian and American qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

In the northern Brazilian resort of Costa do Sauipe, about 70 kilometers north of Salvador, FIFA on Tuesday unveiled its four pots for the quadrennial event set to open next summer.

South Korea is in the third pot with Australia, Japan and Iran from Asia, and the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras from North and Central America.

The draw will take place Friday, also in Costa do Sauipe.

With 32 participants in total, host Brazil was one of eight seeded nations in the first pot. The seeding was based on the FIFA rankings as of Oct. 17, as Brazil was joined by Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.

The participating countries will be paired into four groups of eight, and each group will feature a seeded nation, with Brazil to be inserted into Group A.

The second pot has five teams from Africa and two from South America: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile and Ecuador.

The fourth pot for now has nine European qualifiers: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and France.

FIFA said one of these nine teams will be moved to the second pot on Friday, which will give each of the four pots eight nations apiece.

That European nation will be paired with one of four seeded South American teams -- Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina -- to preserve the geographical balance.

No group can contain more than two European teams. Countries from the same region will also be separated in the group phase.

South Korea made an improbable run to the semifinals at the 2002 World Cup, which it co-hosted with Japan. It remains the country's best World Cup performance to date. In 2010 in South Africa, South Korea reached the round of 16 and was knocked out by Uruguay. (Yonhap News)

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