The Final Draw: How it works
To be held in Moscow on Friday 1 December, the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will start at 18:00 local time
Gary Lineker will host the event with the support of co-host Maria Komandnaya and eight high-profile draw assistants
Everything you need to know about the Final Draw provided below
Featuring 32 teams, eight unbiased pairs of hands and millions of TV viewers, the Final Draw for the 21st FIFA World Cup™ will take place this coming Friday in Moscow. FIFA.com answers all your questions about this key date on the football calendar.
Who are the top seeds? Russia, as the host country, along with Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France are the highest-ranked teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in October 2017.
What time does the Final Draw start? The ceremony begins at 16:00 CET (18:00 local time).
Where will the Final Draw be held? In the concert hall at the State Kremlin Palace, which has a capacity of 6,000. The hall has been graced by some of the world’s leading singers and performers, among them Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Julio Iglesias and Elton John, and has also hosted opera and ballet productions and performances by Le Cirque du Soleil.
Who will perform the Final Draw? Former England forward Gary Lineker, an adidas Golden Boot winner at Mexico 1986, will conduct the Final Draw with the support of Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya. They will be assisted by eight giants of the game: France’s Laurent Blanc, England’s Gordon Banks, Brazil’s Cafu, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Russia’s Nikita Simonyan.
How have the qualifiers been allocated to the four pots? The October 2017 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has been used to allocate the qualified teams to the four pots according to their ranking in descending order, after hosts Russia, who take the top seeding spot.
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. Where can I follow the Final Draw? FIFA.com will be providing exhaustive coverage of the event on its live blog from 10:00 (local time). We will also be providing regular updates on our Instagram account, Twitter account and the FIFA World Cup Facebook page.