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World cup : Promises and privileges for the Trinidadian Warriors

By Exilus Deceyon

Tobago., 06 déc. 05 [AlterPresse] --- T&T’s Soca Warriors have been guaranteed a minimum of TT$28.4 million (US$4.5) to appear in the World Cup finals in Germany next year.

According to an AP report which followed yesterday’s announcement of the seeded teams for Friday’s draw, all teams will get at least 2 million Swiss francs (US$1.5 million) per group game, assuring a minimum of at least 6 million Swiss francs (US$4.5 million) for all 32 qualifiers.

If T&T moves into the second round, appearance will increase to 2.5 million Swiss francs per game.

Fifa will also pay business class air tickets for the teams and their technical staff to get to the finals and will pay up to TT $2,000 (US$305) per day for hotel costs.

Each qualifier also will be given another TT$4.7 million (US$750,000) to cover the cost of preparations.

Fifa announced that the winner of the World Cup will earn 24.5 million Swiss francs (US$18.75 million).

The announcement is certain to be good news for the T&T Football Federation and the Organizing Committee which has been complaining over the past few weeks about the lack of financial assistance for the team.

A nine-man T&T delegation left yesterday for Leipzig where they will be joined by Fifa vice-president Austin Jack Warner for Friday’s group draw.

The group includes TTFF president Oliver Camps, Soca Warriors manager Bruce Aanansen, media officer Shaun Fuentes, assistant manager George Joseph, Tobago House of Assembly’s Tracey Davidson, Dr James Heppel, director Tourism Development Company, Richard Groden, general secretary TTFF, cultural officer Terry Joseph and Senator Roy Augustus.

At yesterday’s seeding ceremony in Leipzig, The Netherlands was left out of the top seedings and could end up in the same group as perennial rival Germany or defending champion Brazil.

The omission of the world’s third-ranked team was the biggest surprise during the announcement of the placing. Mexico and Spain were the only teams never to win the World Cup that were picked for the top eight, which also included host Germany, Brazil, England, France, Argentina and Italy.

Germany and Brazil were automatically seeded for Friday’s draw and will head groups A and F, allowing the powerhouses to play in Berlin, Munich and Dortmund, the three biggest stadiums.

Jim Brown, Fifa’s director of competitions, said “economic factors†played a leading role in putting the defending champion and the host team at the biggest arenas.
England was happy to be among the seeded teams after it was picked to play Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden in the first round at the 2002 World Cup.

“This is a big boost but, when the tournament starts, we must show on the pitch why we have been seeded,†England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson told the English federation Web site.

For Brazil, which is going for its sixth championship, first-round opponents matter little.

“I don’t have any preference,†Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos said. “I have already participated in two World Cups and I did play against all teams, so, I don’t know and I don’t have any preference.â€

The Netherlands had been lobbying for a top seeding but its non-qualification for the World Cup three years ago made sure it fell short. It lost to Brazil in the semifinals in a penalty shootout at France 1998. Fifa based its seeding on results at the last two World Cups and the world rankings of the past three years.

Based on that rule, Brazil topped the standings with 64 points, ahead of England with 51, Spain with 50 and Germany with 48. The fifth-ranked team was Mexico with 47, followed by France with 46 and Argentina and Italy tied in seventh with 44 points.

The United States fell just short of the top eight with 43 points, while the Dutch were well back with 38.

The Netherlands is a two-time runner-up and is best known for its showing in Germany at the 1974 World Cup, where it lost to the hosts in the final 2-1.

Spain, a perennial underachiever, qualified through the European playoffs. Mexico was runner-up behind the United States in the North and Central America and Caribbean group. The Czechs, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify for the previous three World Cups and never had hopes of making the top seeds.

The draw was also set up to prevent teams from the same continent landing in the same group. Europe, with 14 of the 32 teams, is the exception. But no more than two European teams will be paired in the same group.

The field has four teams each from South America, Asia and the Concacaf region and five from Africa. Australia represents Oceania.

Under a complicated decision, Serbia-Montenegro will be in a special pot at Friday’s draw and will be in a group with either Brazil, Argentina or Mexico to avoid the possibility of a group with three European teams. De vs apr 06/12/05 22:30]