In this week’s main listening report we look ahead to some of the key language that will be used to describe the 2014 World Cup draw taking place in Brazil.
Of course there are two meanings of the verb ‘to draw‘ in football: one is when two teams share the points; they tie the match, so for example 1-1 or 0-0; while the other meaning is used to decide which teams play each other in a tournament or knock-out competition. The World Cup Draw takes place this weekend in Bahia in Brazil, then, we will find out which teams will play against each other. The draw is important as it can not only decide who your opponents will be but also who your future opponents will be and crucially in a country as diverse as Brazil, where you will end up playing.
Thirty-two countries are taking part in the 2014 World Cup and these teams have been divided into four categories or pots. Pot 1 has the top eight teams that have been based on the FIFA rankings, including the hosts Brazil, the holders Spain and many people’s favourites, Germany. There has been some controversy over the make-up of this pot as it includes Belgium and Switzerland – two countries that did not feature in the 2010 World Cup edition in South Africa. Pot 2 includes all five of the African qualifiers plus two nations from South America: that’s Chile and Ecuador, while Pot 3 has four countries from CONCACAF, that’s North and Central America, and four more from the Asian region and this pot is widely regarded as being the weakest. Pot 4 sees the nine qualifiers from Europe including past winners France, England and Italy. There is also a Pot X but we’ll let FIFA explain that over the weekend.
Seeding simply means to separate the countries so that they will not have to face each other. This means, for example, that Argentina cannot play Brazil or Germany or indeed any of the other top-seeded nations in the group stages – the opening matches. It is thought by many that being one of the top seeds can bring many advantages though trying telling that to France when they were knocked out of the 2002 World Cup (by unfancied Denmark and Senegal) and that’s despite being the top seed in that group.
Group of Death
The Group of Death is the group that football fans fear: an overly-competitive group that is filled with three, or possibly four, countries of similar ability or at least with the ability to cause an upset. The Group of Death at the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea involved Nigeria, England, Sweden and Argentina with England and Sweden eventually emerging from that deadly group. With nine European sides in the tournament this time round there is a real possibility of an extremely tough Group of Death; think Brazil, England, France and Japan for instance.
Football vocabulary and phrases used in this week’s listening report
did not feature: Did not participate in the last World Cup
unfancied: Not expected to do well; not the favourites
an overly-competitive group: A group filled with very good teams
think : here the word ‘think’ is introducing an example.
emerging from: Qualifying