FIFA World Cup 2018 is finally here, which means 32 nations who managed to qualify for the final stage will be sorted into eight groups of four. This year's draw will be different from the previous ones as the pots have been based on FIFA's coefficient rankings, rather than geographical location.
FIFA World Cup 2018 is finally here, which means 32 nations who managed to qualify for the final stage will be sorted into eight groups of four. This year’s draw will be different from the previous ones as the pots have been based on FIFA’s coefficient rankings, rather than geographical location. The top seven nations along with the hosts have been placed in Pot 1, with rest of the nations placed in the remaining pots in descending order. Hosts Russia will kick the tournament off on Thursday, June 14, 2018. They will play the team drawn second in Group A at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The international governing body on Tuesday unveiled its official poster for the World Cup finals in Moscow. The poster has a vintage design of Soviet goalkeeping great Lev Yashin who can be seen flying in direction of the ball. The art is inspired by constructivist art movement and the poster shows Yashin, wearing a knee brace and his signature cap, leaping across to get a hand on an oversized ball featuring Russia’s landmass seen from space.
Here are the FIFA World Cup 2018 draw:
9:22 pm: Come on. Saudi Arabia in Group A. So Russia have Egypt, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. My word, that will be a struggle.
Serbia have to go into Group E because of the number of European teams in the other groups and that means they have to play Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica. That’s a difficult one. Strong group.
Morocco are in Group B with Portugal, Spain and Iran and will do well to escape.
9:19 pm: Sweden are in Group F. And next is Group G…
Tunisia! They play against England in a World Cup again, and that will be on 18th June, Friday night at 7pm. England’s first opponents!
Senegal are in with Poland and Colombia.
9:14 pm: Egypt are in Group A, Denmark can’t go into Group B because there are already two European teams there and move to Group C with Argentina and Croatia.
Iran are next and they drop into Group B with Portugal and Spain. Iceland “who have more volcanoes than professional footballers,” says Lineker, are in Group D and their opening match is against Argentina. What a magical start to a World Cup that is for Gylfi Sigurdsson and friends.
Costa Rica are in Group E. That leaves Tunisia and Senegal for England.
9:10 pm: Switzerland and Brazil opener for Group E. Moreover, Group G gets Belgium and England. Which will be the Group of Death? Will it be Group B or Group G.
9:07 pm: Uruguay at A4 which means they will play Russia last. Spain faces Portugal in opener for Group B.
9:06 pm: Germany goes to Group F while Belgium goes in Group G. This leaves Poland which will be the first team in Group H.
9:02 pm: Portugal in Gropu B whereas France goes in Group C. Argentina goes to Group D while Brazil goes in Group E.
9:00 pm: Gary Lineker and Maria Komandnaya. Russia! What a surprise! It is of course not a surprise because it was planned they’d be first. And they’re in A1! Also planned. They were in a red ball rather than a white.
8:58 pm: It is a full house and a sight to drool on. Faces of football past are onstage in the Kremlin, accompanied by women dressed as Russian dolls. It looks… weird. Banks, Diego Forlan, Diego Maradona, Laurent Blanc, Cafu, Carles Puyol, Bixente Lizarazu and NOW IT’S GARY LINEKER – our holy leader. Take us to the draw, Gary.
8:52 pm: The celebration is at its high.
8:51 pm: Sample question: “Tell us Miroslav, just how iconic is this trophy?”
8:50 pm: “It (the trophy) has a magical impression. So many great footballers have held this Trophy in their hands. So it’s a magical moment for me to hold it,” he said.
8:48 pm: The World Cup’s all-time leading goalscorer Miroslav Klose has just brought the Trophy to the stage!
8:43 pm: How majestic can it be? Two legends of their generation, one known for destroying defenders and the second known for destroying strikers. I will stop here so that you can enjoy it too.
With Maradona, one of football’s greatest legends. I enjoyed our chat about our shared passion for this incredible sport. Interesting and funny! Such a shame I couldn’t play with you on the football field! pic.twitter.com/LbbO8BodqK
— Carles Puyol (@Carles5puyol) December 1, 2017
8:40 pm: The methods have changed over time, however, the World Cup draw manages to create the buzz of its own
— #WorldCupDraw ???? (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2017
8:38 pm: “Thank you to all the Russian people who have worked hard over the last seven years to bring us one step further to the final tournament. Thanks to all 11 Host Cities who are doing a tremendous job,” Infantino said.
8:36 pm: FIFA president Gianni Infantino is welcoming the guests.
8:35 pm: Many speak of Belgium ‘s ‘golden generation’. Can the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku and Co bring the trophy home? The country’s best-ever finish? Fourth place in 1986.
8:34 pm: Putin is on stage welcoming all the guests and the world: “Russia has a passion for football and have had many outstanding players over many generations.”
8:32 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin kicks off the ceremony. Some of the footballing legends are in the Palace.
— Cafu. (@officialcafu) December 1, 2017
7:21 pm: Some of the great of the game are present in the arena.
— #WorldCupDraw ???? (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2017
7:07 pm: Four former defenders and also winning captains of the World Cup are in the city.
— Fabio Cannavaro (@fabiocannavaro) December 1, 2017
7:01 pm: What is the procedure for the Final Draw?
The four pots will be emptied by drawing the eight teams they each contain one by one and placing them in the eight groups of four teams (Groups A to H). Hosts Russia will occupy the top position in Group A, while the seven other seeds will occupy the top spots in Groups B to H. The positions of all the other teams (from pots 2, 3 and 4) will be decided when they are drawn.
As is customary at Final Draws, a ball will be drawn from the team pots and then another from the group pots to determine the position in which the team in question will play.
With the exception of UEFA, which has more qualifiers (14) than there are groups (8), no teams from the same confederation can be drawn in the same group.
6:26 pm: Here are the teams are in the four-pots.
6:24 pm: Hello and welcome to FIFA World Cup 2018 draw LIVE commentary. The event will take place in Moscow.