Footy Times

World Cup Draw: All You Need to Know

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Here is everything you need to know about the FIFA World Cup draw.

When and where is the draw taking place?

On Friday in Doha, Qatar, at 7pm local time (5pm BST). It will be broadcast live on fifa.com

Who is in it?

Pot 1 (seeded teams): Qatar, Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal.

Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia.

Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia.

Pot 4: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Wales/Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica/New Zealand, UAE/Australia/Peru.

This World Cup will follow the same format as previous editions, with teams divided into eight groups of four.

Teams are seeded based on their position in the Fifa global rankings as of 31 March. Qatar will be seeded A1 in Pot 1, while the other top seeds will be the top seven ranked teams who qualified. England is one of them.

The three undetermined play-off winners (Wales v Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica v New Zealand, and UAE/Australia v Peru) will be seeded in the bottom pot.

The draw will begin with the top-seeded teams and work its way down to the bottom-seeded ones.

After a team is picked, a second ball is drawn to determine their group assignment.

Teams from the same continent will be separated – except for European countries, where each group will consist of a maximum of two teams.

Unlike past World Cups, the match schedule will be determined afterwards and will not be determined automatically based on how teams are drawn.

Fifa says this provides “scope to provide a more beneficial kick-off time for audiences at home”.

Why don’t we know all the teams?

Normally, all teams are known prior to the World Cup draw, but three slots remain undecided this year for two distinct reasons.

On 13 and 14 June, Qatar will host two intercontinental finals. Costa Rica will face New Zealand in one, while Peru will face the winner of the United Arab Emirates vs. Australia Asian play-off on 7 June in Doha.

These games were rescheduled from March due to the pandemic’s knock-on effects on each continent. All Oceania qualifiers were held in Qatar from 17 to 30 March as part of a mini-tournament.

Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the three European play-off routes has been postponed.

Scotland’s semi-final against Ukraine at Hampden Park has been rescheduled from March to an unannounced date in June, when Ukraine is hoped to be available to play.

The winner of that game would meet Wales in Cardiff a few days later for a place in the World Cup. Wales defeated Austria in their semi-final.

Who is doing the draw?

The draw will be conducted by eight former players and coaches, including Brazil’s Cafu and Germany’s Lothar Matthaus.

Jay-Jay Okocha, Tim Cahill, Adel Ahmed MalAllah, Ali Daei, Bora Milutinovic, and Rabah Madjer will also be in attendance.

Cahill, a former Everton midfielder, scored Australia’s first World Cup goal and competed in four tournaments, while Okocha, a former Bolton playmaker, assisted Nigeria in qualifying for their first World Cup in 1994.

Serb Milutinovic is the only manager to have managed at five World Cups in a row with different teams (Mexico 1986, Costa Rica 1990, USA 1994, Nigeria 1998 and China 2002).

MalAllah represented Qatar at the 1981 Fifa World Youth Championship at the 1984 Olympics.

Madjer scored in Algeria’s 1982 World Cup victory over West Germany, and Daei was the all-time leading men’s international scorer with 112 goals until Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed him last year.

The show will be hosted by former England midfielder Jenas, former USA women’s international Carli Lloyd, and British television presenter Samantha Johnson.

When will the tournament take place?

It runs from 21 November to 18 December at eight venues.

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