-All Eyes on Moscow For World Cup Final Draw –
All eyes in the football world will be on Moscow, Russia today ( December 1), as the final draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be made.
Gary Lineker, former England International striker and Mexico 1986 adidas Golden Boot winner, will host the Final Draw ceremony in the concert hall at the 6,000 capacity State Kremlin Palace. He will be assisted by Russian sports journalist, Maria Komandaya, along with eight football legends. They include France’s Laurent Blanc, England goalkeeping icon Gordon Banks, Cafu of Brazil, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Uruguayan Diego Forlan, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Nikita Simonya of Russia.
The World Cup competition will feature 32 (thirty two) teams, including Nigeria. The October 2017 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has been used to allocate these teams to the four pots according to their ranking, in descending order. Hosts Russia, take the top seeding spot in pot 1. Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France are also in Pot 1, owing to that ranking. Nigeria is in pot 4, having been ranked 41st, in October 2017.
During this evening’s final draw, the four pots will be emptied by drawing the eight teams they each contain one after the other and placing them in eight groups of four teams. Beginning from pot 1, each pot will be emptied before moving to the next. This means that there would be groups A to H.
Therefore, as hosts, Russia will occupy the top position in group A as A1, while the 7 other seeded teams in pot 1 will occupy positions 1 in groups B to H. Other teams in pots 2, 3 and 4 will be positioned randomly in their groups, when they are drawn.
In accordance with FIFA’s procedure, a ball from a team pot will be drawn, followed by a ball from one of the group pots. Apart from Europe which has more than eight teams (fourteen), no group will have more than one team from the same qualification zone. Egypt, Morocco and Senegal qualified along with Nigeria, from the African zone.
The draw ceremony will start at 3pm GMT (4pm Nigerian time). The 2018 FIFA World Cup is due to be held from June 14 to July 15 next year, in Russia.
- Cornelius Ellah
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah