Football World Cup 2006The 2006 Football World Cup is scheduled to take place in Germany, after a tense vote. It was widely expected that the tournament would take place in Africa, probably South Africa, but various backroom politics delivered hosting the Cup to Germany.
The draw for five of the six qualification tournaments is scheduled to take place on 5 December 2003 in Frankfurt, whilst all of the members of the South American federation (CONMEBOL) will compete in a single group. Qualification itself will begin in January 2004.
There has been some interest in the allocation of places in the finals to the various football confederations. Initially, the Oceania Football Confederation was allocated one place in the finals. With the confederation containing only Australia, New Zealand, and a number of tiny island nations, Australia was widely regarded as having been gifted virtual automatic qualification. South America's confederation, by contrast, was allocated only 4 places, down from 4.5 (4 guaranteed and one playoff spot against the Oceania regional qualifier) last time, despite the onfield strength of South American football. North America gained an extra half a place, whilst Europe lost half a place. The defending champion (Brazil) does not qualify automatically, but hosts Germany retained the automatic spot. In June 2003 the FIFA board reversed its decision and reduced Oceania's allotment to half a place and gave back South America's half spot.