Ghamansports presents to our dear readers a guide to the draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Russia. The draw comes off on Thursday 30th November, 2018.
Time and Venue for the draw
The draw will be conducted at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday, December 1, beginning at 15:00 GMT. However, there are likely to be multiple ceremonies and speeches before any balls are drawn out of pots.
Format of Draw
The 32 teams which will play in the tournament next year have been separated into four pots of eight each, based on FIFA’s world rankings in October.
Pot 1 features the seven highest-ranked teams as well as hosts Russia, who have automatically been assigned to the first position in Group A.
Pot 2 is comprised of the next eight best-ranked teams, and so on through Pots 3 and 4.
When the draw is conducted, one team from each pot will be assigned to a group, A through H.
However, the one complication is that teams from the same confederation cannot be drawn together in the same group.
For example, Senegal and Nigeria are both CAF (African) teams and therefore cannot be grouped together.
This rule does not apply to UEFA (European) teams, who can have up to two teams in the same group.
Pots based on FIFA Ranking
Pot 1 is made up of Russia (hosts, world ranking 65), Germany (1), Brazil (2), Portugal (3), Argentina (4), Belgium (5), Poland (6) and France (7).
Pot 2 is made up of Spain (8), Peru (10), Switzerland (11), England (12), Colombia (13), Mexico (16), Uruguay (17) and Croatia (18).
Pot 3 is made up of Denmark (19), Iceland (21), Costa Rica (22), Sweden (25), Tunisia (28), Egypt (30), Senegal (32) and Iran (34).
Pot 4 is made up of Serbia (38), Nigeria (41), Australia (43), Japan (44), Morocco (48), Panama (49), South Korea (62) and Saudi Arabia (63).
Africa’s Status ( Best and Worse)
Let’s use Nigeria as an example, and their best-case scenario is to be pooled in Group A with Russia (easily the weakest team in Pot 1) and get Peru or Mexico from Pot 2 and Iceland or Iran from Pot 3.
Their worst-case scenario is to get reigning champions Germany from Pot 1, Spain from Pot 2 and Costa Rica (since there can be only two European teams per group) from Pot 3.
Obviously there are numerous permutations that could play out for each of the five African teams, but the bottom line is that at least four of them will have two teams in their group ranked inside the world’s top 20.