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2014 FIFA World Cup seeding

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2014 FIFA World Cup seeding

The final draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup took place on 6 December 2013 at the Costa do Sauípe Resort, Mata de São João in Bahia,[1] at 13:00 local time (UTC−3).[2] The ceremony determined the group in which the 32 participating teams will begin the final tournament. The teams have been divided in advance by FIFA into four pots based on seedings and geographic regions.

Seeding

Rodrigo Hilbert, Dilma Rousseff, Sepp Blatter and Fernanda Lima at the World Cup finals draw in Brazil
Seeding for the draw is based on the October 2013 version of the FIFA World Ranking.[3] Although the November 2013 rankings were the most current at the time of the final draw, the usage of those rankings would advantage those teams who had played additional play-off matches in order to qualify.[4] Brazil were not among the top eight seeded teams at the time but, in keeping with usual FIFA World Cup procedure, were seeded by virtue of being the host nation.[5] The top seven teams in the October 2013 FIFA World Ranking filled the remaining seeded positions.
Team FIFA Ranking
October 2013
 Brazil (hosts) 11
 Spain 1
 Germany 2
 Argentina 3
 Colombia 4
 Belgium 5
 Uruguay 6
  Switzerland 7
 Netherlands 8
 Italy 9
 England 10
 Chile 12
 United States 13
 Portugal 14
 Greece 15
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 16
 Ivory Coast 17
 Croatia 18
 Russia 19
 France 21
 Ecuador 22
 Ghana 23
 Mexico 24
 Costa Rica 31
 Algeria 32
 Nigeria 33
 Honduras 34
 Japan 44
 Iran 49
 South Korea 56
 Australia 57
 Cameroon 59

The draw

In preparation for the final draw, the 32 participating teams were organized into four pots based on seedings and geographic regions. It was announced in October 2013 that the eight seeded teams to feature in Pot 1 would consist of the host nation [6]
Pot 1 (Seeds) Pot 2 (Africa & South America) Pot 3 (Asia & North America) Pot 4 (Europe)

 Brazil (hosts)
 Argentina
 Colombia
 Uruguay

 Belgium
 Germany
 Spain
  Switzerland

 Algeria
 Cameroon
 Ghana
 Ivory Coast
 Nigeria

 Chile
 Ecuador

 Australia
 Iran
 Japan
 South Korea

 Costa Rica
 Honduras
 Mexico
 United States

 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Croatia
 England
 France
 Greece
 Italy (drawn into Pot 2)
 Netherlands
 Portugal
 Russia

The draw procedure was as follows:[7]

  1. One European team was first randomly drawn from Pot 4 and placed into Pot 2, in order to create four even pots of eight teams (in the draw Italy was drawn out).[8]
  2. The draw then proceeded with the drawing of the other seven seeded teams from Pot 1 into Groups B–H, with Brazil having been predetermined to be in Group A.
  3. To maximise geographic separation, an ancillary pot ("Pot X") was created during the draw into which the four seeded South American teams (from Pot 1) were placed. One of these four teams was then drawn out (in the draw Uruguay was drawn out).
  4. The sole European team from Pot 2 was then automatically placed into the group of the South American team that was drawn from "Pot X" (Italy was therefore placed into Uruguay's group); This process prevented three European teams being grouped together.
  5. All remaining teams were then drawn sequentially from the pots (i.e. Pots 2, 3, then 4) into the groups in alphabetical order (i.e. Group A, then Group B, etc.). During the drawing of Pot 2, groups could be skipped over as the two South American teams in Pot 2 were not permitted to be drawn into the (remaining three) groups headed by South American seeds.
  6. The positions within the eight groups were then drawn for the non-seeded teams, in order to determine the order of the fixtures within each group. The eight seeded teams were automatically designated the position of Team 1 within their group (e.g. Brazil would be A1).

France seeding controversy

There was some controversy,[9] which some called potgate, before the draw, when FIFA decided that the European team in Pot 2 would be drawn there randomly. Previously, the lowest-ranked European team was sent there. In this case, that would have been France, which wound up escaping the tough draw that befell Italy.

Many officials, fans and journalists complained, pointing out that a Frenchman, the FIFA secretary-general Jérôme Valcke, suggested the change, and suspecting that another influential Frenchman, UEFA’s president, Michel Platini, helped approve it.

The next day, a headline in the Italian sports periodical Corriere dello Sport blared: “2014 World Cup draw: What a scandal!”.[10]

References

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