Draw added to building intrigue

Draw added to building intrigue
England's coach Roy Hodgson (L at centre) and Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli greet each other as the coaches of the national football teams taking part in the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, gather to pose during the groups-stage draw, in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia state, Brazil, on December 6, 2013.

BRAZIL- The draw is over, the six months of waiting, plotting and praying begins.

Inside the room where the World Cup draw was held on Brazil's Atlantic coast, the almost exclusively male audience was obsessed with two things - the so-called Group of Death and the heat of the jungle up in Manaus.

Outside it, apparently, the lady of the draw ceremony, actress and model Fernanda Lima was drawing 10 people per second on the global Twittersphere. I'm guessing it was not for the sport at hand.

But almost as revealing as her gold dress was a gesture from England Football Association chairman Greg Dyke. The moment England were drawn to play Italy - in Manaus on June 14 - he used a finger across his throat.

Presumably, his mafia sign represented his expectation for England rather than a boast aimed at the Italians.

But it was a sure sign that he felt Group D - Uruguay, England, Italy and Costa Rica - constitutes the infamous Group of Death.

It may not be the only one.

When the USA were paired with Germany, Portugal and Ghana, and again with games up in the north where the heat and humidity are extreme, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann called it: "The worst of the worst."

And then there are the defending world champions Spain. They kick off the 2014 World Cup where they left off the last one, against the Dutch who gave Andres Iniesta and company something of a kicking in the 2010 final in Johannesburg.

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.