Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Ireland set for Germany qualifier

Ireland were paired with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan in qualifying Group C for the 2014 World Cup in Saturday night's draw in Brazil.

Northern Ireland have some long-distance trips in Group F as the were drawn against Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg.

England avoided Europe's big-hitters in the qualifying draw in Rio de Janeiro as they were drawn in Group H against Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and San Marino.

Scotland and Wales will have to play each other in Group A with some strong-looking opponents - three from the Balkans - in Croatia, Serbia, Belgium and Macedonia.

The winners of the nine groups qualify automatically and the eight best runners-up play off for the four places remaining.

All the home nations did avoid the toughest draw, Group I where Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia and Finland will battle it out.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had launched the draw insisting the world governing body had confidence that Brazil would overcome delays in preparations.

Blatter said: "We need the support of the government of Brazil, the state governments, the organising committee and the 190million fans of football that is the population of Brazil. It is a matter of trust and confidence and FIFA have trust in Brazil and are confident of its abilities.

"Football is the beating heart of Brazil. It is a multi-cultural country of joy and celebration blessed with natural beauty and a booming economy ranking number seven in the world."


From Belfast Telegraph