The 2006 FIFA World Cup (officially titled 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, sometimes referred to as the Football World Cup) finals are scheduled to take place in Germany between 9 June and 9 July 2006. Qualification for the tournament is now complete, with all 32 competing teams confirmed. The 2006 finals are the 18th to be contested.
A total of 12 German cities have been selected to host the World Cup final tournament. The stadium capacities shown are all seated capacities. Many of the stadiums have higher capacities for German domestic football matches as some of the seats are replaced with terraces.Starting from Germany 2006, the winner of the past World Cup had to qualify for the Finals. Only the host nation qualifies automatically from 2006 on.
In the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the six FIFA confederations were allocated a share of the 32 spots available on the basis of the strength of their teams. The final distribution was as follows:Europe – represented by UEFA : 51 teams competing for 13 places (Germany qualified automatically as host nation for a total of 14 places) ;Africa – 51 teams;South America -10 teams;Asia – 39 teams;North, Central American and Caribbean -34 teams;Oceania – 12 teams.
For the first time ever, the defending champion (Brazil) does not qualify automatically. The hosts (Germany) will retain their automatic spot. In 1934, the defending champions (Uruguay) declined to participate and the hosts (Italy) had to qualify, but in the tournaments between 1938 and 2002 (inclusive), the hosts and the defending champions had automatic berths.
The original distribution of places between the six confederations called for Oceania to be given one full spot in the final 32; however, this idea was seen as giving Australia a virtually certain place in the finals, being by far the strongest footballing nation in their region. This decision was reconsidered in June 2003 and the previous distribution of places between Oceania and South America was restored.
The main surprises in European qualification at World Cup Germany were the absences of 2002 third-place finishers Turkey (eliminated by Switzerland after a momentous playoff), 2004 European Champions Greece (eliminated by the Ukraine), and established sides Denmark (eliminated by the Ukraine as well), Russia (eliminated by Portugal), and Belgium (eliminated by Serbia-Montenegro and Spain). In Africa, 2002 quarter-finalists Senegal (eliminated by Togo) and established sides South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria (eliminated, respectively, by Ghana, C?te d’Ivoire, and Angola) unexpectedly missed the trip to the Finals. The other zones saw no major upsets.While representing Oceania, from the beginning of 2006 Australia is part of the Asian Confederation, and will represent Asia in following World Cups.
If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked as follows:greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in matches between the tied teams,greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in all group matches,greater number of goals scored in all group matches,a play-off on neutral ground, with extra time and penalties if necessary (in qualifying),drawing of lots (at the final event).This is a change from the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where total goal differential was the first tiebreaker.
Thirty-two years after the last football World Cup in Germany, the 2006 FIFA World Cup will again take place in Germany. For the first time after the reunification of both German states, the entire world will look to the New Germany, situated at the heart of Europe.
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