The 32-team field for the 2018 World Cup is set, which means all eyes now turn to the World Cup Draw. The draw will take place on Friday, Dec. 1. It will be broadcast live in the United States on Fox Sports 1 (English) and Telemundo (Spanish).
The draw officially begins at 10 a.m. ET (6 p.m. in Moscow). That, however, does not mean the actual drawing of teams into groups will begin at 10 a.m. ET. In years past, the opening half hour or so has been pageantry, musical performances and other extracurricular activities.
But Fox Sports 1’s TV coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. Here’s the essential information:
Date: Friday, Dec. 1
Time: 10 a.m. ET (6 p.m. local time)
Location: Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia
TV: Fox Sports 1, Telemundo (U.S.)
Online: Fox Sports Go
Live coverage: FIFA will have a live blog on its website. FC Yahoo will have reaction coverage from the moment Pot 2 is complete.
The teams have been seeded into four pots based on the FIFA rankings. Russia, the host, is in Pot 1 along with the top seven qualified nations. Teams 8-15 are in Pot 2, teams 16-23 in Pot 3, and teams 24-31 in Pot 4.
Countries will be drawn into eight groups of four, with each group comprising one team from Pot 1, one from Pot 2, one from Pot 3 and one from Pot 4. Here are the pots:
Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France
Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
The only stipulations are geographical. No more than two European teams can be drawn into the same group, and no more than one team from any other region can be drawn into the same group.
Here’s more on the draw:
FC Yahoo’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup Draw
- How the World Cup Draw works
- The most enticing potential group stage matchups
- Why FIFA’s new seeding system will prevent a Group of Death
- Gaming the FIFA Rankings: Why Poland is in Pot 1 ahead of Spain
- World Cup Power Rankings: Brazil, Germany lead the way
The 2018 World Cup kicks off on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The complete schedule will be confirmed after the draw.
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Henry Bushnell covers soccer – the U.S. national teams, the Premier League, and much, much more – for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.