FIFA World Cup draw pots announced
By Football News
FIFA have announced the make-up of the four pots that will be used for Friday's World Cup draw.
As was known before the announcement, pot one consists of hosts Brazil along with the seven top-ranked teams - Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay.
However, while it was widely expected that France might join the remaining South American and African nations to form another pot of eight, they have actually been placed in a group of nine with the other European qualifiers in pot four.
Pot two will contain Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile and Ecuador, while pot three is made up of Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States.
To ensure that all pots contain eight teams, one ball will be drawn from pot four at the beginning of the draw and placed into pot two.
As two nations from the same confederation are not permitted to be in the same group - with the exception of UEFA countries - the European team drawn from pot four in the pre-draw will immediately be assigned one of the four South American seeds, with the remaining three going back into the draw.
Along with France, pot four consists of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Russia.