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Explaining the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminary draw
On Saturday July 30, 2011, the preliminary draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will be held. This event will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Although the World Cup is three years away, this preliminary draw is the first major event of the 2014 tournament. Here is an explanation of the preliminary draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
What is the preliminary draw?
The preliminary draw determines the matchups for a series of qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. These matches will be held in the next few years leading up to the World Cup. Countries from all over the world will be watching the draw to see their road to the World Cup unfold.
Who is playing?
203 member nations have signed up to compete in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. As is customary with teams hosting the World Cup, Brazil is automatically qualified for the tournament. The other member nations are split up into several zones: Asian, African, European, Oceanian, South American and North/Central American/Caribbean. Teams will compete within their zones for the 32 spots in the World Cup. Each zone has a specific number of allocated spots to the World Cup. For example, teams in the African zone will compete for five spots in the World Cup.
The qualifying games in each zone are tailored to the number of teams and the number of contested spots for the World Cup. Each zone will be divided into groups. Matches will be played within each group to determine group winners. Further rounds may follow group play to determine additional World Cup spots.
An example (European zone)
The European zone consists of 53 member nations. Countries such as England, Germany, Italy and Portugal are in this zone. These 53 nations will compete for 13 spots in the 2014 World Cup. All 53 teams will compete in round one of this preliminary phase of the World Cup. The teams will be split into nine groups. The teams within each group will play in a round-robin format. Each team will play two games against each opponent, one home and one away. The winners of each group will earn a spot for the 2014 World Cup. The next eight best teams will advance to round two and compete for the final four spots to the World Cup. These eight teams will be paired into four home-and-away matches. The top four finishers of round two will earn the final four spots to the 2014 World Cup.
To determine the nine groups, all 53 teams will be split into six pots. These pots are determined by the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking on July 2011. Pot 1 will contain the nine highest-ranked teams. Spain, Netherlands, Germany, England, Portugal and Italy are some teams in pot 1. The next nine best teams are placed into pot 2 and so on. Pot 6 will have the eight lowest-ranked teams in the European zone. The preliminary draw will determine which teams go into which groups. Each team in pot 6 will be randomly drawn to occupy spot 6 in each of the nine groups (A-I). Similarly, each team in pot 5 will be randomly drawn to occupy spot 5 in each of the nine groups. This process continues until all the teams have been placed in a group. Since the top nine teams are in pot 9, they are guaranteed to be placed into different groups. This allows these best teams of the European zone to have the best chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The preliminary draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will determine the qualifying matchups for the World Cup. The road will be clearer for the member nations. This is where the three-year journey to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil begins.
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Edwin Torres has been coaching competitive youth soccer since 2001. He enjoys coaching, playing and watching the game of soccer.
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