The 2006 FIFA World Cup (officially titled 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, sometimes referred to as the Football World Cup or just the World Cup) finals are scheduled to take place in Germany between 9 June and 9 July 2006. Qualification for the tournament is now complete, with all 32 competing teams confirmed. The 2006 finals are the eighteenth to be contested. In June 2000, Germany won the right to host the event, beating the bids of South Africa (who will be the hosts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup), England, Brazil, and Morocco.
A total of twelve German cities have been selected to host the World Cup final tournament. The stadia capacities shown are all seated capacities. Many of the stadia have higher capacities for German domestic football matches as some of the seats are replaced with terraces.
Starting with the 2006 Cup, FIFA has changed the qualification rules so that the winner of the previous World Cup had to qualify for the Finals; only the host nation is given an automatic berth. This arrangement is expected to continue into future Cups.
The following teams, shown by region, have qualified for the Finals. The number in brackets is the country's seeding for the tournament. This value was decided via two factors:
These seedings were only relevant for the selection of the top eight sides, and their allocation of one to each group. Other nations were drawn according to geographical factors. That Serbia and Montenegro were regarded as the fourteenth UEFA qualifier and thus placed in a separate pot in the draw was determined purely on positions in the FIFA rankings in November 2005.
The seeded teams for the 2006 cup were announced on December 5, 2005. These comprised Pot A in the draw.
Pot B contained the unseeded qualifiers from South America, Africa and Oceania; Pot C contained eight of the nine remaining European sides, excluding Serbia and Montenegro. Pot D contained unseeded sides from the CONCACAF region and Asia. A special pot contained Serbia and Montenegro, and the three non-European seeded teams: this was done to ensure that no group contained three European teams. In the special pot, Serbia and Montenegro (white ball) was drawn first, then their group was drawn (black ball) from the three seeded non-European nations, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
It had been predetermined that as hosts, Germany would be placed in Group A, thus being assured of the venues of their group matches in advance of the draw. FIFA had also announced in advance that Brazil would be allocated to group F.