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The draw’s in the bag, and obviously as an England fan, being drawn against Croatia again has just made my day. But there are also a number of other interesting matchups, for non-footballing reasons. Here’s a few that spring to mind:
There’s Cuba-U.S.A. I bet the guys at USSF are excited about organising that trip (at least I think they’re playing each other, if I understood correctly the ridiculous CONCACAF region set-up).
There’s North Korea against South Korea. At the moment, it looks like it could actually be good timing for a furthering of the reconciliation between the two halves of the peninsula that’s been slowly progressing in recent times.
There’s Iraq versus Australia. Would have generated more controversy if John Howard, who took Australia into Iraq, hadn’t been booted out of office just last week, with new PM Kevin Rudd expected to withdraw Australia’s remaining troops. I wonder where the game will be played.
Edit (as noted by ursus): Turkey plays Armenia. Blimey.
Below are the rest of the matchups, anything else that should be highlighted? And more importantly for my sanity, will England be humiliated again by Croatia’s technically superior team?
Group 1: Australia, Iraq, Qatar and China.
Group 2: Oman, Thailand, Bahrain, Japan.
Group 3: North Korea, Jordan, Turkmenistan, South Korea.
Group 4: Lebanon, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia.
Group 5: Syria, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iran.
Group 1A: USA v Dominica or Barbados
Group 1B: Guatemala v Turks and Caicos Islands or St Lucia
Group 1C: Trinidad and Tobago v Bermuda or Cayman Islands
Group 1D: Cuba v Aruba or Antigua and Barbuda
Group 2A: Mexico v Belize or St Kitts and St Nevis
Group 2B: Jamaica v Bahamas or British Virgin Islands
Group 2C: Honduras v Dominican Republic or Puerto Rica
Group 2D: Canada v St Vincent and the Grenadines
Group 3A: Costa Rica v US Virgin Islands or Grenada
Group 3B: Guyana v Suriname or Montserrat
Group 3C: Panama v El Salvador or Anguilla
Group 3D: Nicaragua v Netherlands Antilles
Group 1: Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Albania, Malta
Group 2: Greece, Israel, Switzerland, Moldova, Latvia, Luxembourg
Group 3: Czech Republic, Poland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, San Marino
Group 4: Germany, Russia, Finland, Wales, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein
Group 5: Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Estonia
Group 6: Croatia, England, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Andorra
Group 7: France, Romania, Serbia, Lithuania, Austria, Faroe Islands
Group 8: Italy, Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro
Group 9: Holland, Scotland, Norway, FYR Macedonia, Iceland
Group 1: Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Tanzania, Mauritius.
Group 2: Guinea, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya.
Group 3: Angola, Benin, Uganda, Niger.
Group 4: Nigeria, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone.
Group 5: Ghana, Libya, Gabon, Lesotho.
Group 6: Liberia, Algeria, Senegal, Gambia.
Group 7: Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Botswana, Madagascar.
Group 8: Morocco, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mauritania.
Group 9: Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Seychelles.
Group 10: Mali, Congo, Sudan, Chad.
Group 11: Togo, Eritrea, Zambia, Swaziland.
Group 12: Epypt, Congo DR, Malawi, Djibouti