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FIFA – AUSTRALIA DRAW HOLDERS, JAPAN, CROATIA

Australia have been drawn against reigning world champions and five-time winners Brazil for next year’s FIFA World Cup following the draw ceremony held in Leipzig, Germany. The Socceroos will also have to take on Croatia and Japan in Group F of the 32-nation tournament.

Australia will make it’s first appearance at a FIFA World Cup in 32 years when it takes the field against Japan on June 12 in Kaiserslautern.

The Socceroos will then take on Brazil six days later in Munich before completing their group matches against Croatia on June 22 in Stuttgart.

The full Group F draw is:

Australia v Japan

Monday 12 June

Fritz Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern

(Brazil v Croatia, June 13, Berlin)

Australia v Brazil

Sunday 18 June

FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich

(Japan v Croatia, June 18, Nuremberg)

Australia v Croatia

Thursday 22 June

Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart

(Japan v Brazil, June 22, Dortmund)

Brazil are the only nation to compete at every FIFA World Cup winning the tournament in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Australia and Brazil have played on six occasions with the Qantas Socceroos achieving it’s only victory the last time the two nations met – a 1-0 win at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup third place play-off match in Seoul, Korea.

Croatia and Japan both made their FIFA World Cup finals debut at France ’98 with the Croatians finishing in third place.

The FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 will commence on June 9 in Munich with the opening match between host-nation Germany and Costa Rica, and conclude with the final in Berlin on July 9.

Full draw

Group A

Germany

Costa Rica

Poland

Ecuador

Group B

England

Paraguay

Trinidad & Tobago

Sweden

Group C

Argentina

Cote de Ivoire

Serbia & Montenegro

Netherlands

Group D

Mexico

Iran

Angola

Portugal

Group E

Italy

Ghana

United States

Czech Republic

Group F

Brazil

Australia

Croatia

Japan

Group G

France

Switzerland

Korea Republic

Togo

Group H

Spain

Ukraine

Tunisia

Saudi Arabia

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And for all the news, reviews and updates check out the official website of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, www.fifaworldcup.com

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