FIFA sets up World Cup groups

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil — The 2010 World Cup defending champion Spain will open 2014 World Cup play with a rematch vs. the Netherlands while host
country Brazil will kick off vs. Croatia it was determined after the draw ceremony which opened with a tribute to
Nelson Mandela.
Brazil drew Group A along with Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon.
Spain drew Group B also with Chile, Australia and Netherlands.
Colombia, Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece are in Group C.
Uruguay, Italy, Costa Rica and England are in Group D.
Switzerland, Honduras, Ecuador and France are in Group E.
Argentina, Nigeria, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina are in Group F. Argentina will open vs. the debutant Bosnia-
Herzegovina.

Group G has Germany, Ghana, United States and Portugal.
Belgium, Korean Republic, Algeria and Russia are in Group H.
Mexico will debut against Cameroon while the United States will take on their 2010 conquerors, Ghana, in the opener. Spain will open vs. the Netherlands.
In Group D, Italy will debut vs. England.
Depending on how they are drawn, some teams will travel considerably further than others in the world’s fifth-largest country, which is more than 2,500 miles
from tip to toe and across. Some will have to play in the heat and humidity of the Amazon basin, with Manaus in the heart of the jungle considered among the most physically taxing venues for players, especially those from more moderate climes.
None of the previous seven World Cups held in the Americas, starting with the first edition in Uruguay in 1930, was won by a European team.
A film shown at the start of the ceremony showed Mandela at the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and other images from the life of the anti-
apartheid campaigner who died Thursday at 95. A minute’s silence was then held to honor Mandela. Some 1,300 guests filled a cavernous tent erected for the 90-minute show being broadcast live to some 190 countries from the Brazilian Atlantic resort.

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