Controversy at 2007 Women's World Cup draw

The draw ceremony for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup was overshadowed by discontent when North Korea was simply placed in Group B apparently to avert an early match-up with hosts China. USA coach Greg Ryan was reportedly furious with the move. "I don't understand it," he said, adding that no official explanation had been given. "At this point it doesn't matter. What's done is done. We just have to start preparing for North Korea as our first match. It's just one that I don't understand."

At the following press conference, officials stonewalled four separate questions on why North Korea had been taken out of the draw. FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi said the decision had been made by the organising committee and denied North Korea had been consulted. "I think if you make a draw you don't ask the teams," he said. World Cup committee chairman Worawi Makudi would only say the decision had been made "after careful analysis and study."

Draw for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup to be played in China from 10-30 September.:

Group A: Germany, Japan, England, Argentina
Group B: Nigeria, United States, North Korea, Sweden
Group C: Norway, Ghana, Australia, Canada
Group D: China, New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark

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