The most anticipated event on the planet earth is just 188 days away as next summer’s tournament kicks off on June 12 in Sao Paulo with hosts Brazil already fixed in as one of the two participants in the opening game. The focus of the football world is now turning towards the draw for next summer’s World Cup, with national team coaches, captains and fans alike desperate to find out whom their group opponents will be.
The draw of the tournament will be conducted on Friday, December 6 in Costa do Sauipe in the Brazilian state of Bahia, a very popular tourist destination and dramatic incidents are expected to happen as Group of Death is almost a certainty. The program is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time (17:00CET) and will be hosted by Brazilian actors Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, with performances of artists such as Margareth Menezes, Olodum, Alcione and Emicida planned for entertainment.
THT looks at all the details of the tournament and help you understand how the format of the tournament is going to work.
Structure of the Tournament:
There will be 32 participating nations in the World Cup.
The group stage will get started on 12th June and come to an end on June 26. The first games of the round of 16 will be held only two days later in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, with the first knockout stage of the competition set to conclude on July 1.
The quarter-finals are scheduled for July 4 and 5, and the semi-finals will take place on July 8 and 9. The final of the World Cup will take place on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
Heroes of past World Cups namely Cafu, Mario Kempes, Zinedine Zidane, Fabio Cannavaro, Lothar Matthaus and Geoff Hurst will all be involved in the draw itself.
There will be a drawing of one ball from Pot 4 and placing it into Pot 2 to achieve the balance of eight teams in each pot (England smelling conspiracy in it). It is also a policy of FIFA to not to have more than two European teams in one pot. And in order to ensure this, following mechanism will be implemented:
1) All four seeded South American teams will be placed in one secondary pot.
2) One of the four teams will be taken out.
3) The Group of the South American team (refer point two) will determine the Group which the other European team will join.
The make-up of the pots mean that a ‘Group of Death’ consisting of Brazil, USA, France and Portugal or one more high-profile group would be of title holders Spain, Japan, African champions Nigeria and Star studded Netherlands. The group of four minnows is also possible as Switzerland, Honduras, Algeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina can make into one group.
Whatever is the outcome of tomorrow’s draw, it will set a stage for great tournament in 2014 without a doubt.