While the race for places at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ started some time ago in Oceania, Africa, Asia and South America, the build-up to the biggest football show on Earth is about to step up a gear with the staging of the Preliminary Draw in Durban this weekend.

And for those of you unable to experience the excitement of Sunday's star-studded ceremony in person, FIFA.com will be on hand to bring you all the news and information you need.

the Preliminary Draw will be streamed live video in the following territories: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

To get in the mood, why not check out the updated profiles of the many teams taking part in the Draw? Compiled by our world experts, each analysis outlines the history of the national teams, their key players and their most recent achievements. Don't forget to catch up on all the latest results from the qualification competitions that are already under way around the globe, along with all the standings and quotes from the players and coaches involved.

The day before the Preliminary Draw we will be taking a look back at the stats the event has generated over the years. And to make sure you know exactly what is going on when the names are pulled out of the hat on Sunday, we will also explain the format for the Draw in each confederation in detail.

The big day itself
There will be no shortage of excitement on Sunday. The fair city of Durban is ready and waiting to extend a warm welcome to the team representatives who will assemble at the International Convention Centre at 17.00 (local time).

The whole ceremony will be broadcast live at FIFA.com and we will also be providing live commentary of the event, not to mention a special application showing the draw as it unfolds.

But there's more to Sunday than just logging on and watching. We want to hear what you have got to say as well. With that in mind we will be opening our now-traditional FanChat line an hour before the event starts so you can tell us what you think about the Draw and exchange views with other fans from around the world.

And once the road to South Africa 2010 has been mapped out, the people in the know will be sharing their thoughts with us. So make sure you stay online for all the reactions from the coaches as well as video interviews with some of the high-profile guests attending the ceremony.

As you can see FIFA.com is the place to be to follow all the twists and turns in Durban. Don't miss it.