Tension builds ahead of draw
The eyes of the 15 qualified teams for the FIFA Futsal World Championship Chinese Taipei 2004, as well as would-be African qualifiers Egypt and Mozambique, will all be on Taipei City on Sunday 5 September when FIFA Deputy General Secretary Jérôme Champagne makes the draw on the tenth floor of Taipei City's Grand Hotel in a ceremony commencing at 11:00 local time (5:00 CET). The tournament is to run between 21 November and 5 December 2004.
Click for the draw results
Hosts Chinese Taipei are joined by fellow Asian representatives Japan, Thailand and Iran in the draw. The remaining places are made up by Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay from South America; Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine from UEFA; USA and Cuba for CONCACAF and Australia, winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament. The African representative has yet be established, and will be decided via a two-legged tie between Egypt and Mozambique.
Profiles of the 16 teams and Qualifying info
Host country profile
Holders Spain, three-times winners Brazil and South American champs Argentina will be among the favourites to lift the trophy. Competition will be fierce, however, with the likes of Italy and Ukraine also harbouring ambitions to take the crown. Australia are also fancied, although they had more difficulty than expected in winning their qualifying tournament in Canberra and have yet to prove themselves in the international arena. Iran are potential dark horses while CONCACAF representatives USA and Cuba should not be underestimated either. For hosts Chinese Taipei, the tournament will primarily be an exercise in gathering valuable experience for the future.
The draw will decide four groups of four teams. The only seeded team are hosts Chinese Taipei, who automatically go into position A1.
Teams from the same confederation will not be placed in the same group wherever possible. UEFA has five representatives meaning that two European teams will meet in the group stage. World champions Spain and runners-up Brazil will be placed in the same pot to avoid a first-round meeting.
The 16 teams are divided among the four pots as follows:
Chinese Taipei (seeded)
Iran (AFC 1)
Japan (AFC 2)
Thailand (AFC 3)
Italy (UEFA 2)
Ukraine (UEFA 3)
Czech Republic (UEFA 4)
Portugal (UEFA 5)
Argentina (CONMEBOL 1)
Brazil (CONMEBOL 2)
Paraguay (CONMEBOL 3)
Spain (UEFA 1)
USA (CONCACAF 1)
Cuba (CONCACAF 2)
A further four pots will determine the position in each group (Pot 1 for Group A, Pot 2 for Group B, etc.). Hosts Chinese Taipei are automatically given position A1:
Pot 1: A1, A2, A3, A4
Pot 2: B1, B2, B3, B4
Pot 3: C1, C2, C3, C4
Pot 4: D1, D2, D3, D4
Pots A-D (Teams): A blue ball for Chinese Taipei, 15 red balls for the other teams.
Pots 1-4 (Positions in the group): A blue ball for position A1, yellow balls.
Pot A will be emptied first. The blue ball (Chinese Taipei) will be drawn from Pot A and placed in position A1. Of the remaining three balls in Pot A, a red ball will be drawn and placed in Group B. To determine the position in this group, a yellow ball will be drawn from Pot 2.
Of the remaining two balls in Pot A, a red ball will be drawn and placed in Group C. To determine the position in this group, a yellow ball will be drawn from Pot 3.
The remaining red ball in Pot A will be assigned to Group D. To determine the position in this group, a yellow ball will be drawn from Pot 4.
The same procedure will be used to determine Groups B, C and D.