FIFA had decided to “jazz” the draw up a bit to make more theatre from it. Of course they didn’t intend things to turn out quite as they did, and had largely forgotten to factor in that sometimes live television is not as straightforward as it might seem at the planning stage.
As with many things handled by FIFA and Sepp Blatter, they dismissed it as just “one of those things”.
The 24 countries were split into 4 pots to draw each of the 6 Groups. Three of the top four from 1978 were seeded in Pot 1, Argentina, Brazil and Italy, along with hosts, Spain, West Germany and England. Belgium had protested at England’s inclusion as top seeds, which was a bit rich given they had missed the last two tournaments, as England had, and had participated in one World Cup in the last six. But FIFA were unmoved and kept things as originally planned.
The draw itself becamesomewhat of a farce with so many mistakes, but as ever FIFA was unmoved and here’s how the Groups were drawn
17 stadiums in 14 cities would be used for the tournament with two grounds allocated to each group.
MADRID: Bernabeu (91,000) – Group B
MADRID: Vicente Calderon (66,000) – Group D
BARCELONA: Nou Camp (120,000) – Group A
BARCELONA: Sarria (44,000) – Group C
SEVILLE: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan (70,500) – Group 6
SEVILLE: Benito Villamarin (47,500) – Group 6
ALICANTE: Jose Rico Perez (38,000) – Group 3
BILBAO: San Mames (47,000) – Group 4
ELCHE: Nuevo (40,000) – Group 3
GIJON: El Molinon (47,000) – Group 2
LA CORUNA: Riazor (34,600) – Group 1
MALAGA: La Rosaleda (44,000) – Group 6
OVIEDO: Carlos Tartiere (23,000) – Group 2
VALENCIA: Mestalla (55,000) – Group 5
VALLADOLID: Jose Zorrilla (30,000) – Group 4
VIGO: Balaidos (31,800) – Group 1
ZARAGOZA: La Romareda (42,000) – Group 5