FIFA to use October ranking for World Cup draw
FIFA said its next month rankings, to be published on October 16, would be used for the 2018 World Cup draw, which will take place in Moscow on December 1.
The global football body has also said, teams will now be grouped by their place in the world ranking, rather than by their place in the continent.FIFA made this known in the new format for World Cup draw gotten on Thursday.
According to FIFA, the 32 teams for the World Cup would be divided into four pots, with the seven top-ranked teams, plus hosts Russia, in pot one, the next eight ranked teams in pot two and so on.Each first-round group would consist of one team from each pot, determined by the draw.
The new draw format would prevent geographical constraint of having teams from the same continent in the same group.
This would further avoid another controversy which emerged in 2014, when the November rankings were used, which critics said gave an advantage to teams involved in that month’s play-offs.
The draw for the previous World Cup in Brazil involved a complex system in which teams were divided according to rankings for pot one, and their continent for the remainder.
However, to even out the numbers, a “pre-draw” was held and a temporary “Pot X” was set up, creating a system that critics said was unnecessarily complex.
The top seven-ranked teams currently include; Switzerland and Poland, while Peru and Wales could feature in Pot 2 alongside France and Spain, if they qualify.
Italy are currently 17th in the Fifa rankings, which would land them in Pot 3 if all the teams above them qualify.Brazil, Iran, Mexico, Japan, Belgium, South Korea and Saudi Arabia are the teams who have sure of their places in next year’s tournament so far.
Reports by Miyen Akiri