32 teams ready to go!

Zakumi: Official mascotSo, the FIFA World Cup™ final draw is just around the corner and now we have the complete guests list:

  • Africa:


  • Algeria
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’ Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa (host country)
  • Asia:
  • Australia*
  • Japan
  • Korea DPR
  • Korea Republic
  • Europe:
  • Denmark
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • North, Central America and Caribbean:
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • USA
  • Oceania:
  • New Zealand
  • South America:
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay



As you can see, there are some important teams which have been left behind, such as Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Ireland.

The FIFA World Cup™ to be held next year will certainly miss terrific players who will not take part in the competition due to their team’s disappointing performance. 


Arshavin in his classic celebration signal
Arshavin in his classic celebration signal


Andrei Arshavin is one of them.  Guus Hiddink (Russia’s coach) has been known to build up successful and winning teams however his reputation could do nothing last night to prevent his team from falling against Slovenia in the second leg of the play-off to decide one of Europe’s remaining 4 tickets to the summer competition.


Arshavin who took Euro 2008 by surprise and has been one of the Arsenal’s biggest assets in the Premier League, will watch the final rounds of the tournament from home, hoping to get another opportunity to shine with his national team in Euro 2012 to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.  Needless to say these two nations will miss next year’s FIFA World Cup™ too.


What are you trying to tell us Andrei?
What are you trying to tell us Andrei?


Juan Roman Riquelme is another top player who will not be participating in the tournament but not due to his team’s lousy performance during the qualifiers, but to a high-profile disagreement with Argentina’s controversial boss Diego Maradona, who might also miss the first matches by reason of the coarse language and profanities he uttered addressing to Argentinean journalists after his team qualified. A formal investigation is now underway and the former star might not be allowed to sit on the bench for the next official matches if FIFA concludes his actions violated the established regulations and “fair play” principles.


Shay Given, goalkeeper from Republic of Ireland will not be attending the FIFA World Cup™ either as a result of Thierry Henry’s hand ball control.  Yes! France attacker Henry used his hand to control the ball before he passed it to Gallas who scored without trouble, last night at the second leg of the play-off between Republic of Ireland and France.


It is clear to me that Henry pulled one of the nastier actions in football history, and his “handball skills” will be remembered for a long time as a deception to this sport and to the “fair play” spirit.   France is now going to the FIFA World Cup™ but leaves a disgusting taste in the mouth for all of its fans and football lovers around the world.


It is too early to try to predict which team will have a best shot at the title but we may be able to hypothesise with more accuracy after the final draw, which will take place in Cape Town on early December.


November 19th, 2009






  1. Please take a look at this press release from the Footbal Association of Ireland:

    Thursday, 19 November 2009

    The Football Association of Ireland today (November 19) confirmed that it will lodge a complaint with FIFA, following last night’s World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris.

    Conclusive video evidence of a deliberate hand ball by Thierry Henry, which led to France’s additional time goal, has been seen by millions of football fans worldwide. The blatantly incorrect decision by the referee to award the goal has damaged the integrity of the sport and we now call on FIFA, as the world governing body for our sport, to organise for this match to be replayed. The hand ball, was recognised the FIFA commissioner, the referee observer and the match officials, as well as by the player himself.

    There is precedent for the invalidation of such results. In 2005, the Bureau of the FIFA World Cup organising committee reached a decision to invalidate the result of a World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a ‘technical error by the referee of the match’. The Football Association of Ireland is hoping that FIFA and its Disciplinary Committee will, on behalf of football fans world-wide, act in a similar fashion so that the standards of fair play and integrity can be protected.

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