The World Cup Draw: Explained

Image

The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place in Costa do Sauipe at 16:00 (GMT) today. The process for the draw has been criticized for being confusing and complicated. This explainer will hopefully clarify matters and allow you to enjoy the magnificent hours of entertainment a draw for a major footballing event offers.

The 32 teams are divided into four “pots” of 8, depending on their geographical region on the official FIFA world map, which is noticably different from normal ones. The purpose of the draw is to allocate these 32 teams into 8 “groups” ( A-H ) of four teams each.

  • Pot A consists of Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland & Uruguay. Brazil have already been allocated to group A, on account of being the host nation. Teams in this group are “Seeded”.
  • Pot B consists of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile & Ecuador. Teams in this group are “Honey and Oat”.
  • Pot C consists of Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica & Honduras. Teams in this group are “Hearty Italian”.
  • Pot D consists of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia & France. Teams in this group are “Italian Herbs and Cheese”.

Keen eyed observers will have noted that the pots are unbalanced. Pot B ( Honey and Oat ) contains seven teams and Pot D ( Italian Herbs and Cheese ) contains nine. This is not a mistake. A pre-draw will take place in which one randomly selected team will move from Italian Herbs and Cheese and become Honey and Oat. This will balance the pots and also do a great job of making the draw process longer, meaning there will be more brilliant entertainment for everyone.

The next stage is to draw all the teams from Pot A ( Seeded ) into a group. Remember that Brazil are already in group A. Then, all the teams from Pot B ( Honey and Oat ) will be drawn into a group. Now it gets tricky. The team that we moved from Pot D ( Italian Herbs and Cheese ) can only be placed in a group that contains a South American team from Pot A ( seeded ). To facilitate this, a temporary virtual Pot X ( Wholemeal Wheat ) will be created containing the South American teams from Pot A ( Seeded ). This is not a real pot, it exists only in your mind. A team will be drawn from Pot X ( Wholemeal Wheat ) and their group is the group the European team we moved earlier from Pot D ( Italian Herbs and Cheese ) will be placed in. The virtual Pot X ( Wholemeal Wheat ) will then be destroyed ( in our minds ) and teams in Pot B ( Honey and Oat ) will be drawn into groups as normal. Simple. Oh, except that if a South American team from Pot B ( Honey and Oat ) are drawn in the same group as a South American team from Pot A ( Seeded ) that group will be skipped and they will be placed in the next available group.

I know what you’re thinking – “But what if we draw the last team in Pot B ( Honey and Oat ) and it’s a South American team and the only group left for them to go in also has a ( Seeded ) South American team? What then?”

Should this nightmare scenario occur, the World Cup will simply be abandoned for 2014. This would be a shame as a lot of investment has been made in infrastructure.

Teams from Pot C ( Hearty Italian ) and Pot D ( Italian Herbs and Cheese ) will then be drawn into groups in order, with no further complications except that officials conducting this stage of the draw will be required to have some part of their body in contact with a truck at all times.

Once all the teams are in groups, you can turn off to be honest. If you stay, there will be a further draw to determine the position of each team within their group. Teams from Pot A ( Seeded ) automatically assume position 1. The other three in the group will then draw randomly for positions 2, 3 and 4.

Das ist Fifawang.