The 2014 World Cup Draw takes place Friday in Brazil. I’ve already written how no matter how it plays out, the U.S. National Team is in for a tough three games — which honestly is a good thing. Tuesday FIFA finalized the four “pots” in which the eight groups will be drawn.
FIFA–being FIFA–decided to make it complicated. Instead of adding the lowest-ranked UEFA team to Pot 2 as anticipated, it put all nine non-ranked European teams in Pot 4. Confused yet? There’s also rules in place that no more than two UEFA teams can play in the same group as well as keeping all six South American teams separate. This shouldn’t be very difficult since Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Uruguay are ranked.
- Pot 1: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland
- Pot 2: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador
- Pot 3: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras
- Pot 4: Bosnia, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Russia, France
Here’s the Guardian breaking down the minutia:
A pre-draw will be held to move one of the nine European teams into Pot 2. That European team will then be drawn against one of the four seeded South American teams to preserve the geographical balance of the draw.
The four South American seeds: Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Argentina will form a temporary Pot X. The three teams not drawn against the European team in Pot 2 will return to the main draw.
Yep, FIFA found a way to scramble up everyone’s brains by introducing the nefarious-sounding Pot X, which fits in line with its 1960s international spy way of doing business.
It’s not that big a deal, just typical FIFA confusion.
One topic which is going to gain traction as we zero on June is the amount of travel involved in Brazil. Also figure there’s also going to be a lot of complaining from teams stuck playing games in the sweltering Manaus venue in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Oh right, there’s also concern some of the stadiums for the tournament which were supposed to be ready for inspection this month won’t be completed until February.
Anyways, here’s an updated Draw simulator to fool around with. All you have to do is click a button. Wonder why FIFA insisted on making this sound and look harder than it actually is. If we’re lucky, the way the draw likely pans out we can retire the ‘Group of Death’ tag once and for all since they’re all going to be very difficult in 2014.