FIFA to announce WC draws on Dec 4


FIFA's decision to take its prized asset outside Europe and the Americas for only the second time will make for a momentous event with organisers viewing the draw at the International Convention Centre as the tournament's start.

While there will be a new and distinctly African flavour to the June 11-July 11 competition, with vuvuzela trumpets blaring from every venue, there is no such novelty in the 32-team line-up.

In contrast to the last World Cup in Germany in 2006, when there were four debutants from Africa alone, this time every one of the teams has prior experience, albeit in former guises in the case of one or two.

The tournament, which will take place at 10 venues in nine cities, will feature eight groups of four teams in the first stage followed by a series of knockout rounds.
Soccer's ruling body FIFA has still not announced the seedings for the draw which will begin at 1700 GMT in front of 2,000 guests in the hall. 

Once the match schedule has been finalised, team officials will be pouring over meteorological data as well as their opponents' playing statistics.
The venues are split between the high veldt, where cold temperatures and high altitude will be a factor, to warm coastal locations and the small cities of Nelspruit and Polokwane.

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