FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

World Cup draw wasn't kind with Americans

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The United States ended up in the middle of a Group of Death for the 2006 World Cup. There, they will face Italy, a three-time World Champion and the No. 12 team in the FIFA rankings, a nation with rare soccer pedigree.

What's more, Americans' opening match will be with unseeded but second-ranked Czech Republic, considered one of the most dangerous teams in the tournament.

And to finish off a very tough opening round, the American squad would go against the top African qualifier, Ghana, led by Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien.

Not a nice picture. However, it was the scenario presented to the U.S., which barely missed being a seeded team, for the World Cup next year in Germany.

FIFA wont have Iran banned from World Cup

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FIFA will allow Iran to participate in next year's World Cup despite calls from German politicians for the Islamic nation to be banned, since the country's president denies the Holocaust.

President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a "myth" utilized by Europe as a pretext for carving out a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim world.

Ahmadinejad's opinions were denounced in Germany, a sensitive nation due to its Nazi past. Hitler's Nazi regime was responsible for the deaths of six million Jews in the Holocaust.

The demmands for banning Iran from the event in Germany came mostly from the opposition Greens party, although they had been supported by parts of the media and members of the country's ruling coalition.

"A nation with such a leader, who is driving the country into isolation, has nothing to do at Germany 2006," said Angelika Beer, a Greens member of the European Parliament.

The leader of the Greens in Germany's parliament, Volker Beck, said Iran have to be shown that "this cannot go on and that it cannot remain without consequences."

FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren claimed that Iran will take part in the 32-nation tournament.

"FIFA strictly separates sports from politics," he told the press.