Vacation Home Experts Prepare For The World Cup

Filed under: Entertainment,Florida News,Just For Fun,Vacation Tips |

The event the whole world waits every four years for is about to begin. In just over a week the 2010 FIFA World Cup will officially begin as hosts South Africa will start their campaign for glory against Mexico in Group A of the tournament. The game is being held at Soccer City in Johannesburg and is the start of a month long soccer (football if you prefer) festival.

Here at Florida Leisure Vacation Homes we have been gearing up for the event by printing game schedules for each and every vacation home so that no-one who wants to watch the action will miss it. It’s a pocket sized TV guide to the games, the players and the action and is a must have to place in your pocket to get quick and handy sized information.

You can also download it for FREE by filling in the box below.

For those that don’t know, the current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month. There are two stages to the World Cup: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.

In the group stage, teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups. The other teams are assigned to different “pots”, usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since 1998,  constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation.

Each group plays a round robin tournament, guaranteeing that every team will play at least three matches. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994, three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss and if two or more teams end up with the same number of points, tie breakers  are used: first is goal difference, then total goals scored, then head-to-head results, and finally drawing of lots (i.e., determining team positions at random).

The knockout stage is a single elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It begins with the “round of 16” (or the second round) in which the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. This is followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match  (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and then the final itself.

During the 18 tournaments that have so far been held, seven nations have won the title. Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won four titles, and Germany are next with three titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, while England and France have one title each.

The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, where an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup which was held in Germany.  And just to put you in the mood, here’s the 3 minute Nike commercial that really does sum up the mood of the whole world while the tournament is on. Enjoy…regular updates will appear on this blog as we make our journey through World Cup South Africa.

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