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2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Second Round: Map

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The UEFA second round was contested by the best eight runners-up from the nine first round groups from the UEFA segment of the qualification tournament for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in football. The winners of each of four home and away ties joined the group winners in the World Cup in South Africa. The matches, which are often referred to as 'play-offs', were played on 14 and 18 November 2009. The draw for the ties was held in Zürichmarker on 19 October, with the teams drawn by South African player Steven Pienaar.

Qualification

The eight best runners-up from the UEFA First Round qualified for the play-offs. With one group having one team fewer than the others, matches against the sixth-placed team in the group are not included in this ranking.

Seeding and draw

In September 2009, FIFAmarker announced that they would be seeding teams for the play-off draw. The eight eventual qualifiers were seeded according to the world rankings released on 16 October 2009. The top four teams were placed into one pot, with the bottom four teams placed into a second. A separate draw was conducted between each matchup to decide the host of the first leg.

Seeding controversy

Seeding using FIFA ranks was used at a similar stage in the 2006 qualification. However, it was claimed that FIFA had indicated that there would be no seeding this time. At the time of the decision, countries in play-off positions included Russia, France and Portugal. The lack of a decision on seeding until late in the tournament lead some to suggest that FIFA were waiting to see which teams were in the play-offs before declaring the rules of the tournament. Commenting on this matter, Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given said:
It’s totally unfair on us smaller nations. If they say that before a ball is kicked then at least you know the picture, you know exactly where you stand but to change it now is absolutely ridiculous and I don’t think it’s right at all.
Sports Illustrated's Gabriel Marcotti gave the opinion that "FIFA is pretty much changing the rules halfway through the qualifying tournament.

Seedings

The eight teams were seeded according to the FIFA World Rankings released on 16 October (shown in parentheses in the table below).

Pot 1 Pot 2
 (9)
(10)
(12)
(16)
 (22)
(34)
(42)
(49)


Matches





France won 2–1 on aggregate and qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Ireland officially asked FIFAmarker for the second leg to be replayed because of controversy surrounding the French goal. This request was denied.




Portugal won 2–0 on aggregate and qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.




Greece won 1–0 on aggregate and qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.




2–2 on aggregate; Slovenia qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the away goals rule.

References




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