KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday unveiled the draw for the first round of regional qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, saying champions Iraq were unable to play at home.
Afghanistan and the Palestinian team were also barred from playing home matches for security reasons, AFC tournament director and assistant general secretary Carlo Nohra told reporters.
"We decided this after due consideration and also after discussing it with FIFA. I think the soccer authorities in Iraq understand why we made this decision," Nohra said.
"Besides Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan will also not be allowed to play their home matches in their country because of the same reason.
"We will give them time to nominate the country where they will play their home matches and give the green light after discussing it with FIFA," he said.
Iraq -- which won its first-ever Asian Cup in late July with a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia -- on Friday was seeded a lowly 12th for the World Cup qualifying tournament.
Teams like Kuwait and North Korea, who did not even qualify for the Asian Cup, were seeded higher.
"We made the seedings in accordance with the FIFA ruling and all countries under our umbrella know how the seedings are made," Nohra said.
"As such, there can be no complaints. The seedings were based on performances done in the last two years and not only this year."
The draw created a number of intriguing match-ups, with Iraq to face Pakistan, while sixth-seeded Bahrain will take on Malaysia.
The top five teams -- Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Iran -- have been given a bye into the third round.
Of the 19 teams that make it through the first round, the lowest eight battle in the second round for four spots in the third round, while the top 11 move directly into the third round.
The first home-and-away knockout round will take place on October 8 and October 28 while the second round is scheduled for November 9 and November 18.
The draw for the third round will take place in Durban, South Africa, on November 25, 2007.
In the third round, the 20 teams are split into five groups of four, with the top two from each group advancing.
The 10 remaining teams are split into two groups. The top two teams in each group qualify automatically for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Teams that finish third in each group play a home-and-away playoff and the team winning that playoff confronts the winner of the Oceania FC qualification in a home-and-away playoff to get the jackpot spot in the World Cup.
1. Australia 2. South Korea 3. Saudi Arabia 4. Japan 5. Iran 6. Bahrain 7. Uzbekistan 8. Kuwait 9. North Korea 10. China 11. Jordan 12. Iraq 13. Lebanon 14. Oman 15. UAE 16. Qatar 17. Syria 18. Palestine 19. Thailand 20. Turkmenistan 21. Tajikistan 22. Indonesia 23. Hong Kong 24. Yemen 25. Vietnam 26. Kyrgyzstan 27. Maldives 28. India 29. Singapore 30. Sri Lanka 31. Malaysia 32. Taiwan 33. Bangladesh 34. Macau 35. Pakistan 36. Afghanistan 37. Mongolia 38. Guam 39. Nepal 40. Cambodia 41. Bhutan 42. Myanmar 43. East Timor
Teams ranked 1-5 receive a bye to the third round.
THE PAIRINGS FOR ROUND 1
1) Pakistan v Iraq
2) Uzbekistan v Taiwan
3) Thailand v Macau
4) Sri Lanka v Qatar
5) China v Myanmar
6) Bhutan v Kuwait
7) Kyrgyzstan v Jordan
8) Vietnam v UAE
9) Bahrain v Malaysia
10) East Timor v Hong Kong
11) Syria v Afghanistan
12) Yemen v Maldives
13) Bangladesh v Tajikistan
14) Mongolia v North Korea
15) Oman v Nepal
16) Palestine v Singapore
17) Lebanon v India
18) Cambodia v Turkmenistan
19) Guam v Indonesia
Match days: October 8 and 28
1) Seed 17 vs Seed 14
2) Seed 16 vs Seed 12
3) Seed 19 vs Seed 15
4) Seed 18 vs Seed 13
Match days: November 9 and 18
|Inzaghi finds positives in lacklustre display|
|Eredivisie Review: AZ move third, Propper fires Vitesse to victory|
|Chievo 0 Milan 0: Pressure back on Inzaghi|
|Bundesliga Review: Derby win for Dortmund superheroes, Leverkusen go fourth|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon loss leaves door open for PSG|
|Bueno nets perfect hat-trick in four-goal spree for Rayo|
|Carver impressed with Newcastle´s fighting spirit|
|Van Gaal explains Di Maria decision|
|Luis Enrique angered by Granada pitch|
|Sherwood confident of Villa survival|
|Referee East says ´no mistaken identity´ as Poyet pledges to look again|
|League One Review: Robertson and Johnson off to winning starts, Bristol City go eight clear|
|Bruce angered by missed decision|
|Berahino can be ´top class´ - Pulis|
|Grateful Gutierrez thanks ´special´ fans|
|Monk targets Swansea points record|
|Klopp´s ´perfect´ afternoon|
|Victory soured by Ireland injury, says Hughes|
|Championship Review: Middlesbrough´s opportunity missed as Derby are defeated|
|Koeman: I am realistic on Champions League|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten again, Hartlepool gain welcome lift|
|´Triple punishment´ rule could be scrapped|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Inverness slip up as strugglers prosper|
|Mancini wary of Fiorentina quality|
|Hearts attack hits double figures in Scotland|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 0: Berahino wins it, then limps off|
|Manchester United 2 Sunderland 0: Rooney at the double amid red card controversy|
|Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 0: Cisse strike downs visitors|
|Stoke City 1 Hull City 0: Super sub Crouch secures win|
|Granada 1 Barcelona 3: Suarez inspires routine win|
|Burnley 0 Swansea City 1: Trippier own goal proves decisive|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Schalke 0: Late show seals dominant derby win|
|Referee Dowd fails to make it through West Brom, Saints clash|
|Allardyce ´shocked´ after home loss|
|Pardew lauds Murray after ´mixed afternoon´ for striker|
|West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew enjoys more away-day success|
|Blanc: PSG prepared for confident Monaco|
|Ancelotti: Isco place is non-negotiable|
|Pellegrini out to end dismal record at Anfield|
|Roma v Juventus: Matri eyes glory in title tussle|
|Martinez wary of wounded Arsenal|
|A-League Review: Spectacular Sydney derby the highlight|
|Perez to testify in corruption case|
|Bentaleb determined to avoid European hangover|
|Liverpool cannot dwell on Europa exit, says Rodgers|
|Marquinhos welcomes Manchester United interest|
|Tottenham must be ´nearly perfect´ to beat Chelsea - Pochettino|
|Bielsa: I take responsibility|
|League Cup final ´most important´ for Mourinho|
|Rodgers unsure if European exit will be a blessing|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Maritimo 0: Hosts end winless run|
|Guardiola satisfied with Cologne victory|
|Espanyol 1 Cordoba 0: Abraham goal secures the points|
|Marseille 2 Caen 3: Hosts throw lead away yet again|
|Bayern Munich 4 Cologne 1: Champions move 11 points clear|
|Dordrecht 2 Go Ahead Eagles 1: Klaiber leaves it late|
|Luis Enrique laments English ´campaign´ over Suarez|
|Atletico Madrid v Sevilla: Champions attempt to bounce back|
|De Gea dismisses ´lies´ about Van Gaal relationship|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: Jardim wants no Champions League distractions|
|Inter v Fiorentina: Both sides on a high after Europa League success|
|Real Madrid v Villarreal: Ancelotti´s side looking to keep chasing pack at bay|
|Arsenal v Everton: Hurting Wenger calls for immediate response|
|Hull and Panathinaikos among four clubs pay FFP fines|
|Liverpool v Manchester City: Champions eye long-awaited Anfield success|
|Lucas Moura out for at least four weeks|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Mourinho´s men channel spirit of 2005|
|Loan move to Ipswich an easy decision for Wood|
|Qatar World Cup final no later than December 18 - Blatter|
|Martinez excited by Kiev draw|
|Dynamo face disciplinary hearing after crowd trouble|
|Hughes close on signing new Stoke deal|
|Parma game called off again|
|De Boer to stay at Ajax|
|Arnesen backs Vieira as potential future City director of football|
|Mourinho has no fears over Wembley referee|
|Van Persie absent for Sunderland clash|
|Mason hoping to relive 2008 at League Cup final|
|Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|