World Cup 2002: Europe Qualifying System

The 50 European teams -- defending champion France qualifies automatically for the finals -- will be divided into nine groups, five groups of six teams and four of five. The nine winners will qualify for the finals. The nine runners-up will be joined by the No. 3 Asian team in a playoff. The first eight European teams will be paired in four home-and-home series. The ninth European team will meet the No. 3 Asian team in a home-and-home series. The five winners advance to the finals. The seeds were determined on the basis of qualifying for France '98 and Euro 2000. When you consider that former world champions Italy and England are second seeds and Croatia, third-place team at France '98, is a third seed, Europe will have the toughest groups. Top seeds (Pot E): Spain, Romania, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Yugoslavia Second seeds (Pot D): Austria, Portugal, Italy, Scotland, Ukraine, Russia, England, Turkey, Denmark Third seeds (Pot C): Ireland, Croatia, Slovakia, Israel, Bulgaria, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, Lithuania Fourth seeds (Pot B): Cyprus, Hungary, Finland, Iceland, Macedonia, Latvia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Wales Fifth seeds (Pot A): Georgia, Armenia, Estonia, Northern Ireland, Albania, Faeroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, San Marino, Andorra
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