FIFA World Cup 2014 Draw: Pots, Seeds and Format Explained

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By Nick Howson | December 6, 2013 2:43 AM EST

To follow the FIFA World Cup draw from Brazil simply click here for the IBTimes live blog. 

World Cup Draw Pots

Pot 1: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland

Pot 2: Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon

Pot 3: Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, United States

Pot 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia

World Cup Draw format

Fifa rules state that no more than two European nations can be drawn into each group, and that no two countries from any other continent can be placed together.

With only four of the 13 European teams who originally qualified seeded for Friday's draw, the pots as they stand are unbalanced. The draw will begin with Fifa drawing one team from Pot 4 containing the nine other European qualifiers and placing them into Pot 2.

This is in stark contrast to the draw for the finals in 2006, where Serbia and Montenegro were placed outside of the European pot automatically due to their world ranking.

France, who were back in October - from where the main rankings are taken - the lowest ranked team of those who have since qualified, were expected to be given similar treatment but instead the final place in Pot 2 will be left to chance.

In line with the aforementioned Fifa regulations regarding the amount of nations from an individual continent being in the same group, that randomly chosen European side can only be drawn against Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay from Pot 1 to avoid three teams from Europe being from one group.

Similarly, neither Chile nor Ecuador can be drawn into the same group as that South American quartet to again ensure no two teams from any other continent, bar Europe, are in the same group. Those four teams will temporarily be placed into 'Pot X' to confirm they are separated from the other European nations.

The remainder of the draw is as with previous finals. Teams will be drawn in pot order and placed into the eight groups lettered A-H in alphabetical order and then drawn into a group position to determine the fixtures. Brazil, as hosts, will be automatically placed into position A1.

The remaining seeded teams will then be drawn followed by Pot 2 in which contains the two South American, five African and one European teams. Pot 3 of the Asian and CONCACAF qualifiers will follow and finally the eight remaining European nations.

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