There’s always national pride at stake and it’s displayed in various ways: the economy, politics, governance, etc. there’s bigger pride displayed when it comes to football and what better place to display the pride than the FIFA World Cup which commences in June next year in the electrifying, colouful and vibrant nation of Brazil. Brazil is no stranger to football and that’s the perfect venue to display national pride. The draw for the competition comes up on December 6, 2013 by 5pm (Nigerian time) at the luxurious beach resort Costa do Sauípe in Mata de São João, Bahia, Brazil. It is 76km away from host city Salavador, the Capital of the state of Bahia. Since it’s in a Luxurious Hotel, you would expect it to be lavished and that is just about going to happen. It’s going to be hosted by Brazilian Actress and Actor Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert and will see performances by Brazilian music artistes Alexandre Pires, Vanessa da Mata and Deborah Colker. They will be joined by Emicida, Alcione, Margareth Menezes and the percussion group Olodum. The balls will be drawn by famous players from previous tournaments. These will include England’s 1966 final hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst, France’s Zinedine Zidane, Brazil’s Cafu and Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro.
The draw which will be a global TV extravaganza broadcast live in over 170 countries will be done in a mammoth white tent, more of an aircraft hangar which has been erected on the beach sand. At 9,000 square meters in area, it is bigger than most of the world’s cathedrals. It is carpeted inside, so the high heels and smart shoes of the 1,300 guests shouldn’t make any noise. It is air conditioned against Brazil’s summer heat and powered by mobile generators. And all this will have to be dismantled, packed up and trucked out after Friday’s 90-minute show. The whole cost of this big event goes at a staggering US$11 million. That figure kind of sums up why many of Brazil’s poor protested during the Confederations Cup back in June. Too much money is lavished on these projects and they are not getting a dime of the money. That’s the irony of life but it can be sure the event won’t be a flop.
In preparation for the final draw, the 32 qualified teams have been organised into four pots based on seedings and geographic regions. It was announced in October 2013 that the eight seeded teams to feature in Pot 1 would consist of the host nation Brazil and the seven highest-ranked teams as of that month’s FIFA World Rankings. Following a meeting of the competition’s organising committee on 3 December the composition of the other three pots were announced:
Pot 1 (Seeds)
Pot 2 (Africa & South America)
Pot 3 (Asia & North America)
Pot 4 (Europe)
Bosnia & Herzegovina
The draw procedure coined out from wikipedia will be as follows:
One European team will first be randomly drawn from Pot 4 and placed into Pot 2, in order to create four even pots of eight teams.
- The draw will then proceed with the drawing of the other seven seeded teams from Pot 1 into Groups B–H, with Brazil having been predetermined to be in Group A.
- To maximise geographic separation, an ancillary pot (“Pot X”) will be created during the draw procedure into which the four seeded South American teams (from Pot 1) will be placed. One of these four teams will be drawn out.
- The sole European team from Pot 2 will then be automatically placed into the group of the South American team that was drawn from “Pot X”. This will prevent three European teams being grouped together.
- All remaining teams will then be drawn sequentially from the pots (i.e. Pots 2, 3, then 4) into the groups in alphabetical order (i.e. Group A, then Group B etc). During the drawing of Pot 2, groups may be skipped over as the two South American teams in Pot 2 may not be drawn into the (remaining three) groups headed by South American seeds.
- The positions within the eight groups will then be drawn for the non-seeded teams, in order to determine the order of the fixtures within each group. The eight seeded teams are automatically designated the position of Team 1 within their group (i.e. Brazil will be A1).
This draw procedure listed above sounds complicated and confusing, but it doesn’t take away the fact that on the mark of 90 minutes tomorrow, all 32 teams represented by their delegates will know their fate. There will be happy and sad faces by the outcome of the draw, but the whole drama doesn’t take away the excitement that is beginning to build on the greatest football show on the planet come June 12 to July 13, 2014.