There are two pots of eight, one of seven and one of nine. There is a “temporary Pot X.” There will be a “pre-draw” prior to the draw, and all of this after a press conference to explain, or attempt to explain, Friday’s World Cup group stage draw at Costa do Sauipe.
Let’s break it down.
During a Tuesday press conference at the Bahia resort, where the draw will be held in three days’ time, FIFA confirmed the procedure that will govern the selection of the eight groups for the 2014 World Cup.
At present, all 32 teams are seeded into four pots, and one team from each will be selected to form a group. This will happen eight times, but with a caveat: No more than two European sides and one South American side can go into the same group.
Not surprisingly, Pot 1 contains the eight highest-ranked teams according to the October FIFA rankings. In Pot 2 are the five African representatives, as well as Chile and Ecuador. Pot 3 consists of the AFC and CONCACAF participants, and the remaining nine European nations are bundled into Pot 4.
There will be a pre-draw on Friday to move one of the nine into Pot 2, which currently consists of just seven teams.
It’s because of this quirk that FIFA have also created a temporary Pot X populated by the four South American outfits in Pot 1: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay. The three that are not drawn against the European side that moves to Pot 2 will go back into Pot 1.
The group stage draw will begin at 4:00 p.m. GMT/11:00 a.m. ET and will kick off with a performance of the composition “Brasil Pandeiro,” closing with the Bahia carnival song “We are Carnival.”
In an interview with FIFA.com the head of TV Globo remarked, “Through the World Cup Draw we are consolidating Bahia’s image to the world and are putting ourselves out there as one of the major international tourist attractions.”
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-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, France