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Valcke: USA, England in tough groups

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has identified groups D and G as the toughest, following the 2014 World Cup draw.

Speaking after Friday’s draw in Salvador, Brazil, the 53-year-old Frenchman conceded his own country had escaped into a relatively easy group, although he predicted World Cup debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina would be tough opponents.

But Valcke reserved most of his sympathy for England and the United States, who were drawn in groups D and G respectively.

USA will take on Ghana, Portugal and Germany in Group G – arguably the strongest of all eight groups – while England will start their World Cup campaign against Italy in the Amazonian city of Manaus, before taking on Uruguay and Costa Rica.

“I think the (group) with the USA is a strong one,” Valcke said.

“I think also England has a difficult game to start but good luck to all of them.”

Valcke maintained there are no ‘easy’ groups but admitted Group E was ‘not a too bad group’ for France.

“There is no easy group because in football everything can happen in 90 minutes but, again, you have to play and you never know what can happen,” Valcke said.

“Bosnia is a new team but why will they not make a big thing at the World Cup?

“So that’s football.”

Sat 7 December, 2013
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