England Football Online
Contact Us Page Last Updated 18 December 2017
Newspaper Index

World Cup Index

England's World Cup Draw Reactions

Reactions from the media when the World Cup finals draw was made for each tournament that involved England.


1950 World Cup - Brazil

England were in Pool Two with Chile, Spain and the USA. They failed to qualify for the Final Pool.

The Times - May 24, 1950: The matches in this pool will be played in Belo Horizonte. The dates of the matches had not been decided when the draw was made in the library room of the Foreign Office. Reuter


1954 World Cup - Switzerland

England were in Pool D with Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. They won the group and qualified for the quarter-finals, where they lost to the holders, Uruguay.

The Times - December 1, 1953: Each team will play the other three in its group and the two teams with most points in each group will go forward to the quarter-final round. The tournament will then be decided on a knock-out basis. Reuter

Note: England and Italy were named as seeds in England's group and would, therefore, not have to play each other. Scotland were listed in Group Three, even though they had not qualified at that stage. Spain were named as one of the seeds in Group Two and then failed to qualify (Turkey taking their place).


1958 World Cup - Sweden

England were in Pool Four with Austria, Brazil and the USSR. They failed to qualify for the quarter-finals after losing a play-off to the USSR.

The Times - February 10, 1958:

WORLD CUP DRAW OFFERS ENGLAND SEVERE TEST: Giants come face to face in preliminary group

England's hopes of winning the World Cup suffered a blow when the flower of Manchester United lay tragically scattered in the snow of Munich Airport last Thursday. Those same hopes took another jolt on Saturday when the organizing committee of F.I.F.A. assembled in Stockholm to make the draw for the final stages of the World Cup competition, to be held in Sweden from June 8 to 29...


1962 World Cup - Chile

England were in Group Four with Argentina, Bulgaria and Hungary. They qualified for the quarter-finals, where they lost to the holders and eventual winners, Brazil

The Times - January 19, 1962: Hungary beat England 6-3 at Wembley, and 7-1 at Budapest in 1954. Hungary also beat England 2-0 in Budapest in 1960. Uruguay was seeded first, with Chile second, Brazil third, and Argentina fourth. It was agreed earlier that...Uruguay will be included in the group to play at Arica, and Argentina in the group to play at Rancagua. Reuter


1966 World Cup - England

England were in Group One with France, Mexico and Uruguay. They won the group, qualified for the quarter-finals and then went on to win the competition.

The Times - January 7, 1966:

WORLD CUP DRAW BECKONS ENGLAND TO LAST EIGHT: Matches with France, Mexico and Uruguay at Wembley

The eighth World Cup Association football competition will be played in England this summer from July 11 to 30, when the climax will come at Wembley Stadium. Yesterday the last 16 nations for the final line-up, 14 qualifiers and the two exempted countries, England, as hosts, and Brazil, as holders, survivors from an original field of 72 - were drawn into four groups each of four teams...


1970 World Cup - Mexico

England were in Group C with Brazil, Czechoslovakia and Romania. They qualified for the quarter-finals, where they lost to West Germany.

The Times - January 12, 1970:


When the 10-year-old daughter of Guillermo Cañedo, president of the Mexican Football Association - a wealthy man with a score and more of fighting bulls to his name and a two foot scar on his body as a relic of his days behind the red cape - pulled the name of Brazil out of a silver cup to be paired with England in Group 3 of the World Cup final tournament, a stir like an electric current ran through the thronged company at the Hotel Maria Isabel in Mexico City on Saturday...


1982 World Cup - Spain
England were in Group 4 with Czechoslovakia, France and Kuwait. They won the group and qualified for the second round, but they failed to progress to the semi-finals.

The Times - January 18, 1982:

Assessing the World Cup draw which is kind to England but cruel to Scotland (N Ireland's outlook is the sunniest) (Stuart Jones - Jan 17)

If the Spaniards mean to go on as they started, the World Cup tournament is doomed. The draw, held in the Exhibition and Congress Palace yesterday evening became an embarrassment on the grandest scale as the country, described by João Havelange, the president of FIFA, as the cradle of civilization, left the most onerous of tasks in the small hands of Juan Centos Cuemada, at the age of 11 the youngest of three carrying out the operation...


1986 World Cup - Mexico
England were in Group F with Morocco, Poland and Portugal. They qualified for the second round and went on to reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to the eventual winners, Argentina.

The Times - December 16, 1985:

ROBSON'S APPOINTMENT WITH FEAR IN A CONTEST THAT IS ANYBODY'S GAME: Neither Scots nor English have cause to go into a Mexican hat dance over the World Cup draw (Stuart Jones)

Bobby Robson's worst fears were realized in Mexico City yesterday. England, the last of the 24 World Cup finalists to be drawn out of the hat, have been sent to the one place he wanted to avoid, Monterrey. They will be joined in the northern industrial centre, where the temperature will be as high as the altitude is low, by Poland, Portugal and Morocco...


1990 World Cup - Italy

England were in Group F with Egypt, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. They won the group, qualified for the second round and went on to finish fourth, after losing to West Germany, on penalties, in the semi-finals.

The Times - December 11, 1989:


There is an unseen reason why England and Scotland need to win their respective last and first World Cup matches next summer against Egypt and Costa Rica. Victories against allegedly weaker African and Central American opponents will not merely be important to their passage to the second round; they would help maintain the by no means globally accepted existence within FIFA of four British associations...


1998 World Cup - France
England were in Group G with Colombia, Romania and Tunisia. They qualified for the second round, where they lost to Argentina, on penalties.

The Times - December 5, 1997:


Out of the darkness that shrouded the Stade Vélodrome, England were lit up by a dazzling shaft of light here last night. There may be no easy touches in the World Cup finals that will take place in France next summer, but when the draw was made for the tournament and England were allotted the third position in group G, a mixture of relief and elation spread over the face of Glenn Hoddle...


2002 World Cup - Japan
England were in Group F with Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden. They qualified for the second round and went on to reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to the eventual winners, Brazil.

The Times - December 3, 2001:


The gasps of the audience in the Bexco Convention Hall here in Busan must have echoed through Sven-Göran Eriksson's head as he made the long journey home from the World Cup draw yesterday. The trick now is to convince his players that it was Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria and not the England delegation who held their breath in awe at the assignment ahead...


2006 World Cup - Germany
England were in Group B with Paraguay, Sweden, and Trinidad and Tobago. They won the group, qualified for the second round and went on to reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to Portugal, on penalties.

The Times - December 10, 2005:

ENGLAND HANDED PAINLESS START: Paraguay provide opening test, Trinidad should be conquered, Sweden clash may not matter, Brazil lie in wait in semi (Matt Dickinson)

By the time that Sven-Göran Eriksson and his players fly to Germany in June, plans will already have been laid for an open-top bus ride to Trafalgar Square. It would be some celebration after 40 years of hurt for English football and, after last night's World Cup draw, there should be no fear of cancellation before the second round...


2010 World Cup - South Africa

England were in Group C with Algeria, Slovenia and the USA. They qualified for the second round, where they lost to Germany.

The Times - December 5, 2009:

Simply irresistible not to look ahead after one of the most favourable draws in England's history: Group stage should be plain sailing and lead to at least a place in the last four (Oliver Kay)

As evening drew over Cape Town, the sun still shone brightly on the England delegation. It might be different come June, when winter descends, but Fabio Capello and his players will return to South Africa next summer with a spring in their step after a draw last night that could hardly have been more favourable...


2014 World Cup - Brazil

England were in Group G with Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay. They failed to qualify for the second round, winning only one point.

The Times - December 7, 2013:

They think it's all over - before it's even started: The World Cup draw leaves Roy Hodgson and his England team with a mountain to climb (Tony Evans)

Strip Sir Geoff Hurst of his knighthood now. The 71-year-old was the star of England's World Cup final win, scoring three goals in the 4-2 victory over West Germany that made England global champions in 1966, but even hat-trick heroes have off nights. Hurst helped to conduct the draw last night for the next World Cup, in Brazil next year. He might well have finished his stint on stage at Costa do Sauipe by booking Roy Hodgson's squad a flight on the first plane home next June.


2018 World Cup - Russia

England were in Group G with Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.

The Times - December 2, 2017:

England have been handed group they should get out of (Henry Winter)

For once the hand of God was divine for England. Diego Maradona, doing the honours of the second seeds at the World Cup draw, ushered Gareth Southgate's team into a group containing the mobile danger of Belgium but also, when they were drawn, two sides in Tunisia and Panama whom they will expect to overcome.