Teams and football lovers will soon find out what their journey to glory or disillusionment is set to look like. FIFA final draw will start on Friday from 19:00 (local time), at the Doha exhibition and convention center.
The eight groups for the tournament in Qatar will be drawn from four pots. Qatar gets the top-seeded slot given to the World Cup host nation despite being ranked No. 51.
The other top-seeded teams are Brazil, Belgium, defending champion France, Argentina, England, Spain and Portugal. Sixth-ranked Italy is the only team from the top 10 that failed to qualify.
Besides the United States, Pot 2 includes Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland and Croatia, while in Pot 3 it’s Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea and Tunisia.
Three participants still unknown
Three of the 32 entries are still unknown because qualifying hasn’t been completed. Those three entries have all been placed in Pot 4 regardless of the rankings of the teams involved. No. 18 Wales is the highest-ranked of the eight teams left in the playoffs.
The rest of Pot 4 includes Cameroon Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Ghana along with Canada.
Teams from the same continent will be placed in different groups, except for some Europeans. Europe has 13 teams in the tournament and five of the eight groups will each get two teams from the continent. The other three groups each get one European team.
Qatar will kick off its home World Cup in the opening game of Group A on Nov. 21. The final is scheduled for Dec. 18 — the host’s National Day.