WASHINGTON, October 17, 2013 — FIFA has announced the seeded teams for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hosts Brazil, together with Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and Switzerland will all be in Pot 1 when the draw for the finals takes place on Dec. 6 in Brazil. If Uruguay wins the intercontinental play-off against Jordan, it will also go into the first pot. If Jordan win the series, the Netherlands, which are tied in the rankings with Italy in the 8th spot, will be seeded and placed in Pot 1.
The seeded teams were determined by the FIFA’s latest rankings compiled after the recent World Cup qualifying games and not by how teams performed in recent World Cups. The Netherlands were runners-up at the 2010 finals and Italy was the champion in 2006, but both are not seeded.
Spain is still in the top spot in the FIFA rankings, followed by Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy and England. The U.S. team which won the CONCACAF Group remains at No. 13. The biggest movers in the top ten were Switzerland (7) and England (10), which both moved up seven spots in the rankings. Italy, England and the Netherlands were all top seeds at the 2010 World Cup draw.
The latest rankings also determines the teams that will be seeded for the European play-off draw on Monday.
Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Ukraine, will all be seeded and in Pot 1, while France, Sweden, Romania, Iceland will be in Pot 2. This means that Portugal could be drawn with France or Sweden.
If Uruguay does qualify, based on the current rankings, a Group of Death could look like this: Spain (1), Netherlands (8), U.S. (13) and Chile (12), or Brazil (11), Italy (8), U.S. (13th) and Ghana (23). The best outcome for the U.S. team would be a group like this: Switzerland (7), U.S. (13), Romania (29) and Cameroon (59), if the African team beats Tunisia in the final playoff game.
After the recent qualifying games 20 teams have now qualified for the World Cup in addition to hosts Brazil. They are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Germany, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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