Hello and welcome to EPLTalk’s live coverage of the draw for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. If you’re not lucky enough to be in Cape Town with Fabio Capello and David Beckham then sit back and join us as we detail how the road ahead looks for England and the other 31 sides.
The unique aspect of my liveblogging is that I’ll be watching the BBC2 and Sky Sports coverage of the live draw and will be able to provide analysis of their coverage.
For US soccer fans, our sister site MLS Talk will be conducting a live blog starring Adam Serrano which will begin at Noon ET and will cover the draw by watching ESPN2′s coverage. Also, be sure to follow MLS Talk on Twitter as Kartik Krishnaiyer who is at ESPN’s studios today to learn more about ESPN’s coverage as well as to interview the commentators and legends.
**This page will be updated frequently over the next few hours. Be sure to keep pressing refresh (generally the F5 button) to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest events in South Africa. The newest updates will appear at the top of the page and please leave any comments, questions or observations in the comments section below.**
Click “Read the rest…” below for full, live coverage.
Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France.
Group B: Argentina, South Korea, Nigeria, Greece.
Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia.
Group E: Holland, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark.
Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia.
Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal.
Group H: Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland.
18:35 GMT: That concludes EPL Talk’s coverage of the World Cup 2010 draw. I hope you’ve enjoyed the coverage. Leave your thoughts on the draw in the comments section below.
18:31 GMT: Everyone in the BBC studio is very smug at the moment. They think England have been handed an easy group and Fabio Capello will be very happy. England will open on June 12 against the USA, play Algeria on June 18 and play Slovenia on June 23. Looking ahead, if England qualify then they are likely to play Ghana or Germany in the second round. Either of those are going to be very difficult indeed.
18:30 GMT: One disappointment for me is that the two best African teams, Ghana and Ivory Coast, have been drawn in the two hardest groups. With South Africa likely to go out at the first hurdle, we need some African representatives in the later stages. Nigeria loook goood value to make it through though.
18:28 GMT: Let me take back my comment about the group of death, Group G is the hardest. Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast are three of three of the top ten teams in the tournament in my opinion and one of them is certain for an early flight home. What do the readers think of the group?
18:25 GMT: Conspiracy theorists rejoice! France, who moaned about not being seeded, have been placed in a group with the least-deserving seeds. Co-incidence? Englannd and the USA have been handed Slovenia in their group! This really is one of the besgt possible draws both countries could have got. You’d fancy them both to get through to the second stage, where they will play the people who advance from Group D. However, worryingly, that is the strongest group on display. Could the USA be on course to meet the Germans in round two?
18:19 GMT: England and the USA have been handed a boost with the weakest of the pot three sides, Algeria, being drawn in their group. They are obviously half-decent having beaten Egypt to qualify, but they are by far the most preferable option from those eight. Germany’s group is the hardest so far, with Spain’s not far behind. Italy have basically been handed a bye to the second round with their group. Pot four will be fascinating with some of the teams left in it.
18:15 GMT: The second pot is finished and at the half-way stage the tournament is looking good. Engand v USA will be a highlight and I am compelled by the prospect of Brazil v North Korea, for curiousity value if nothing else.
18:10 GMT: The first game of the tournament will be South Africa v Mexico. England have been drawn in the same group as the USA! That will no doubt please readers of both EPL Talk and MLS Talk. Group C is shaping up to be a potential group of death already.
18:07 GMT: The seeds are out. It has been favourable for England as, if they win their group, we will avoid Brazil and Spain in the second round. We also, apparently, cannot face Argentina until thhe final should both the teams advance that far.
18:03 GMT: The line-up of ball throwers includes four South Africans, one Ethiopian and David Beckham. Guess that shows how high his world status is. Draw is starting. Keep looking at the groups above for updates.
18:00 GMT: The draw process is explained in tedious detail. I mean, come on, who watching this is completely naive to roughly what will go on? Even if some people are, it really is the most basic of concepts. A series of sporting stars are being introduced. Makhaya Ntini, the cricketer, is introduced and it requires Jonathan Pearce to talk about cricket for a little bit. He doesn’t seem entirely comfotable for this ten seconds or so.
17:58 GMT: A reminder that South Africa, as hosts, are seeeds A1. Do people think it is unfair France, who won the tournament in 1998 and reached the final in 2006, were not in the seeded group?
17:56 GMT: More padding and talk about how the draw will take place. I am growing ever more impatient.
17:54 GMT: Oh dear, this goes to prove that no matter how good an actress you get in, planned banter on th stage between draws, or at Eurovision song contests, never comes across well. The picture and sound coming from South Africa are pretty poor really, given the amount of people worldwide who must be watching.
17:51 GMT: The coverage switches to Africa where we get to see a traditional dancing and singing routine. The co-host is Charlize Theron, which is a bonus.
17:49 GMT:The BBC are quickly running through the teams one by one. The wait is nearly at an end. I’m sure there’ll be even more delays once we get transferred to South Africa but at least it will feeel like we are making progress.
17:46 GMT: There is a message from Nelson Mandela, who won’t be at the draw due to health reasons. It is prettty standard stuff. He talks about how he hope the tournament will leave a legacy for African soccer and the continent as a whole. Five minutes to go!
17:44 GMT: There is a lot of talk about potential ‘Groups of death’, and every tournamment produces one, but do you think is the strongest, and weakest, possible group which could emerge today?
17:40 GMT: Gabby Logan and ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Gary Mabbutt are shown on a trip to the venue of the eventual final next year. It isn’t finished but the capacity will be 94,700 which is quite impressive. On a first glance it doesn’t seem too dissimilar from the new Wembley stadium. Just over ten minutes until the draw starts according to FIFA.com.
17:37 GMT: Beckham will be involved in the drawing process today. Do you think it is right that a player who will likely feature in the tournament should be involved in deciding the groups? I know it’s only in the most minor way possible, and there is likely nothing he could do if he wanted to, but something about the situation doesn’t sit right with me.
17:35 GMT: A David Beckham interview is shown for the first time by the BBC. He says Englannd can’t fear people but must respect the other teams and work hard. He also bigs up England’s capabilities of hosting the 2018 tournament. That haircut of his isn’t improving with time.
17:30 GMT: BBC replay a video package of the 1990 World Cup. Which was of course the last time we diid anything of note in this tournament. Shearer says that it is time England delivers and makes a comparison to Spain bucking theiir trend of being gallant losers and finally winning Euro 2008. The question is though, how do they do that without strikers like Torres and Villa or midfielders like Xavi, Iniesta, Silva and Fabregas?
17:28 GMT: The BBC panel is Alan Shearer, Mark Lawrenson and a John Motson who is rapidly racing into insanity. Sky 1, BBC 0 on that front. Lawrenson and Shearer immediately state how England should not be afraid of the USA and, if they have any fear about them at all, then they are basically finished. I wonder how many of the current US squad either of them could name?
17:26 GMT: In two dress rehearsal draws, England were drawn with Australia in both. I think most would settle for them in the actual draw. Would you?
17:24 GMT: BBC cut to commentator Joanthann Pearce, who is in South Africa. He runs us through ow the draw will work and what to expect. Pretty straight-forward to be honest. Only things worth stating are to remind people that African teams cannot be drawn in the same group and nor can South Americans.
17:20 GMT: We’ve had a video package of the Confederations Cup too remind the doubters that Africa is capable of organising and hosting a tournament. We’ve also had a glimpse at some of the best players in the world. Seems a bit redundant in this day and age oof internet and being able to watch football from all over the world on your television. Part of me yearns for the old days when the World Cup would be a rare chance too see players you had read about in magazines such as World Soccer.
17:16 GMT: Salvation, here is the BBC coverage. We get an early taster of their theme music and presentation style for the 2010 World Cup and are greeted with the re-assuring presence of former Englannd striking legend Gary Lineker. They start with clips from previous World Cups including Baggio’s penalty miss in 1994 and Ronaldo (the original) scoring in ’98.
17:14 GMT: Sky Sports News takes a break from their draw coverage, which has mostly consisted of adverts ad introductions so far, for a news update. Arsene Wenger has admitted he is a bad loser after refusaing to shake hands with Mark Hughes on Wednesday evening. In other news, thhe world is still flat.
17:12 GMT: Sky Sports take theiir first advert break of the draw coverage, which helps explain why I will be switching to the glorious commercial-free coverage on BBC2 in a couple of minutes. Even though it will mean missing out on the insightful duo of Hodgson and Hamilton. Less than 40 minutes until the draw starts,, according to FIFA.com.
17:10 GMT: Quick note on how this is going to work. You’ll seee the list of pots and groups above. As the teams are drawn out, I’ll place them in their groups annd remove them from the pot in question.
17:07 GMT: The panel are discussing whether England wiill be one of the main seeds other countries want to avoid? How do you feel the Three Lions rank amongst the eight seeds on offer?
17:04 GMT: We can already see why Seaman has been called upon by Sky. He gives us the valuable insight that the players themselves may be texting each other about the draw this afternoon. Extraordinary. How long before someone mentions Twitter…?
17:00 GMT: We’re off an underway withh |Sky’s coverage beginning. Presennter Ed Chamberlain introduces the panel of former Englannd keeeper David Seaman, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson and former England manager Terry Venables. Also in the studio is Gavin Hamilton, the editor of the excellent World Soccer magazine.
10:42 am ET: Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez joins ESPN team for the 2010 World Cup commentary and analysis.
10:15 am ET: Official World Cup unveiled: exclusive video.
9:45am ET: Adidas unveils World Cup ball in South Africa.