In Moscow today, December 1, FIFA will host the draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup which will take place between June 15 and July 16 in Russia.
There will be 32 national teams in the draw after qualification, with eight legends of the game set to perform the draw and decide the group. Here are four things you should know about the draw;
1. When and where is the draw?
The ceremony begins at 18:00 local time in Moscow, which is 16:00 CET and 15:00 GMT. It will take place at the State Kremlin Palace in front of 6,000 spectators.
2. Who will perform the draw?
Retired English footballer Gary Lineker, who won the Golden Boot at Mexico 1986, will be the master of ceremonies and will host the proceedings along with Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.
The innocent hands who will draw the balls from the pots will be Diego Maradona, Cafu, Carles Puyol, Laurent Blanc, Gordon Banks, Fabio Cannavaro, Nikita Simonyan and Diego Forlan.
3. How will they distribute the pots?
The FIFA World Rankings from October 2017 have been used to designate teams into the four pots, placed in descending order, from Russia, based on their ranking.
Russia, as the host nation, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France will be in the first pot.
Spain will be in the second pot with England, Peru, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia.
The third pot includes Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal and Iran.
In the final and fourth pot, the teams involved are Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
4. How will the draw progress?
The four pots will empty out as each of the eight national teams are allocated to each of the eight groups of four teams (groups A to H).
Russia, as hosts, will go into Group A, position one. The other seven teams in the pot will then be given position one in groups B to H, whilst the rest (from pots 2, 3 and 4) will be drawn in order.
According to normal procedure, one ball will be drawn from the pot of teams and another from a pot containing the groups, which will determine the position in which the team drawn will play.
With the exception of UEFA, who have the most qualified countries with eight, no group can have two teams from the same confederation.
Source – Naijaloaded