The FIFA Organising Committee for the World Cup has defined the system by which the Final Draw for France 98 will be made at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on Thursday 4 December 1997.
The Committee, meeting in Marseille under the chairmanship of Lennart Johansson (Sweden), finalised the system and the composition of the various pots according to sporting and geographical criteria, as foreseen in the World Cup regulations.
The seeded teams were determined upon a combination of two factors, namely the finalist teams’ performance in the past three World Cup finals, and their position over the past three years in the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking. The Committee noted that a number of different variations of such a calculation all resulted in the same teams being foremost in the seedings.
The seeded teams will be France (hosts), Brazil (Cup-holders), Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Romania and Holland.
The other 24 teams will be distributed into three pots as follows :
- a pot with five African and three CONCACAF teams.
- a pot with nine European teams.
- a pot with three South American and four Asian teams (total seven).
The draw procedure will then be as follows :
- Brazil will be named team A-1 (team 1 in Group A) and France team C-1.
- The other six seeded teams will be drawn as team 1 in each of the other six groups, being placed in the groups from left to right.
- A draw will be made to determine in which order the other three pots will be drawn.
- When the pot with five African and three CONCACAF teams is drawn, the teams are placed immediately from left to right.
- If the European pot is drawn before the South American/Asian pot, the first eight European teams drawn are placed from left to right in the group. The remaining European team is then to be placed with the seven teams in the South American/Asian group.
- A separate draw is made to avoid this European team being placed in a group containing two European teams. This is done by drawing from a separate bowl the names of one of the two seeded South American teams (Brazil and Argentina); the European team is then placed in the group with the South American team thus drawn.
- The remaining South American and Asian teams are drawn, by which it is to be avoided that two South Americans are placed in the same group.
- If the South American/Asian pot is to be drawn before the European pot, there will first be one team drawn from the European pot and the same procedure followed as under steps 5 and 6 above. The remaining eight European teams are drawn from left to right.
As each team is drawn from the three pots (apart from the seeded teams), a number is also drawn (2, 3 or 4) to determine the team’s position in the group.
Assisting FIFA General Secretary Joseph S. Blatter in the draw will be the following personalities : Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto Parreira, George Weah, Julie Foudy, Jean-Pierre Papin, Raymond Kopa, Marius Trésor and Georges Carnus.