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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 3 September, 2014

How the very complicated draw for the World Cup will work tomorrow

It’s basically harder than time travel.

Time to shine: Sepp Blatter.
Time to shine: Sepp Blatter.
Image: (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

IRELAND MAY NOT be in Sepp Blatter’s special World Cup tombola ahead of tomorrow’s draw, but that won’t stop us enjoying the overblown raffle tomorrow afternoon.

Before you do tune in for the ceremony, you should know that this is a very, very complicated process. It’s basically like trying to organise a night out with our friends on an evening that suits everyone at this time of year.

Here are the pots, first:

Pot 1: (8 seeded teams): Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland

Pot 2: (7 teams): Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, Ecuador

Pot 3: (8 teams): Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, United States

Pot 4 (9 teams): Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Russia

Format

So, the draw will produce eight groups of four teams (A to H) for the first round group phase. Each group will consist of one team from each pot.

To draw a team from Pot 4 (the only one with nine teams) and place that nation in Pot 2 to ensure each pot has eight teams each.

The teams in Pot 1 will be placed automatically in position 1 for the groups in which they are drawn. According to FIFA, Brazil will automatically be placed in position 1 in Group A. The position of the other teams in the groups be classified 2, 3, 4 according to the draw.

Step 2

Pot 2 will feature teams from three confederations (Africa, South America and Europe). FIFA wants to separate as far as possible teams from the same continent, though with 13 European sides that will not be entirely possible.

FIFA have therefore warned that during the draw, it could occur that a group will be skipped in order for example of having Chile or Ecuador from Pot 2 drawn in the same group as a seeded South American team from Pot 1.

To avoid a group with three European teams, the UEFA representative randomly drawn into Pot 2 cannot be placed in the group including the four seeded European teams from Pot 1.

At the beginning of the draw, there will be a Pot X with the four South American seeded teams. One of these teams will be drawn into the group in which the European nation from Pot 2 will enter.

This European team will join this group and the other teams from Pot 2 will complete Groups A to H. At the conclusion there will be five groups out of the eight which will include two European teams.

Got all that?

- additional reporting AFP

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