The 32-team field for next summer's World Cup 2014 has been set, and now the focus shifts to December's draw and the unique selection process that will determine the make-up of all eight groups ahead of next year's tournament in Brazil.
Five-time World Cup champions Brazil are the host nation and will therefore join the seven-best ranked qualified teams in Pot 1. As a result, Brazil won't have to face fellow favorites like Spain, Germany or Argentina until the knockout stage.
Meanwhile, the United States will await their fate in Pot 2, which means the Americans will likely draw one of the world's football giants. The U.S. could be really unlucky and draw either the Netherlands or Italy from Pot 4 in addition to one of the favorites.
These potential outcomes make the World Cup draw one of the most climactic events in sports.
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of the World Cup 2014 draw.
Date: Friday, December 6, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. ET (1 p.m. local time)
Where: Costa do Sauipe Resort in Mata de Sao Joao, Bahia, Brazil
Breaking Down World Cup Selection Process
The 32 qualified squads will be split up into four pots consisting of eight teams each. Pot 1, also known as the seeded pot, will include the host nation Brazil as well as the top-seven ranked countries as rated in FIFA's October 2013 rankings.
Here's a quick breakdown of the seeded teams that will comprise Pot 1:
|Seeded Pot (Pot 1)|
|Seed||Team||Region||World Cup 2010 Result|
|5||Colombia||CONMEBOL||Did not qualify|
|6||Belgium||UEFA||Did not qualify|
The other three pots are determined by region.
The second pot will likely consist of AFC (Asia) and CONCACAF (North America, Central America and Caribbean) qualifiers, while Pot 3 will be made up of qualifying CAF (Africa) teams, CONMEBOL (South America) teams and one UEFA (Europe) qualifier as no team from the OFC (Oceania) secured a berth. The final pot will include remaining UEFA qualifiers, including World Cup 2010 runners-up Holland, who missed out on the seeded pot by just two points in the rankings.
Here's a visual of what the four pots will look like for the upcoming draw:
|World Cup 2014 Draw Qualifying Pots|
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Brazil (Hosts)||Japan||Ivory Coast||Netherlands|
|*Lowest-ranked UEFA qualifier|
One team will be drawn from each pot to form a group. The process will then be repeated seven more times. Therefore, Group A will consist of Brazil from Pot 1, one team from Pot 2, one from Pot 3 and one from Pot 4.
The draw will continue until all eight groups are complete.
Following the draw, the countdown for June 12 will officially begin.
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