April 24, 2014

32 countries

Friday, December 6, 2013

How teams will be drawn from hat

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil — The draw to divide the 32 World Cup teams into eight groups of four is expected to take about 35 minutes.

STEP 1: From the pot containing nine European qualifiers, known as Pot 4, one team is picked at random. It is put in Pot 2, which has the five teams from Africa, plus Chile and Ecuador. This ensures that all 4 pots now have the same number of teams: eight.

STEP 2: The eight teams in Pot 1 — containing host Brazil plus the top seven seeded teams — are picked out one after another, starting with Brazil, and then divided into eight groups, labeled A to H, with one team in each group.

STEP 3: One of the South American teams that was in Pot 1 — either Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Uruguay — is designated at random.

STEP 4: The European team in Pot 2 is now put into that South American team’s group.

STEP 5: Pot 2 is emptied, with its seven remaining teams picked out one after another and divided into the groups, with one in each group.

STEP 6: The eight teams in Pot 3 are drawn and put into the groups.

STEP 7: The eight teams in Pot 4 are drawn and put into the groups.

Groups A to H now all have four teams.

US$11 million was spent on organizing this draw. That included erecting a tent the size of an aircraft hangar, with nearly 50 kilometres of cabling, 36 tonnes of lighting and 9,000 square metres of floor space.

Reuters, AP

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