MOSCOW – FIFA revealed on Wednesday plans for the Russia 2018 World Cup draw, to be held in two days at the Kremlin.
Russian journalist Maria Komandnaya will present the event with the help of Uruguayan soccer legend Diego Forlan.
Forlan stated that the expectations of the draw are very high. “Everybody wants to know – the fans, the people want to know, where to book hotels and plane tickets.”
Yet, Forlan denied that the draw is decisive as to who will advance in the tournament. He recalled that in the previous World Cup, Uruguay went to the same group as England and that Costa Rica was in the same group as Italy. Nonetheless, it was the Uruguayans and Costa Ricans who surprisingly qualified for the round of 16.
FIFA has already distributed the 32 teams between four levels, each level including eight teams. During the Friday draw, eight teams per level will be divided down into smaller four team groups. After the draw, there will then be a total of eight groups, with four teams per group.
Since Russia is the host country, it is the only team to already know its place in the draw; the first team of Group A.
FIFA decided that no group can have more than one team per confederation, with the exception being Europe, since there are 14 European teams qualified for the World Cup. However, there will be only one or two European teams in each group.
Also, second-tier CONMEBOL teams like Peru, Colombia and Uruguay will not be in the same group as first-tier Argentina and Brazil.
The draw itself will last for half an hour and the rest of the ceremony will be musical performances by Russian singer Alsou and Portuguese-American guitarist Nuno Betancourt.
The ceremony will also review of all the World Cups and soccer stars throughout the history of FIFA.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino will say a few words during the ceremony, while the attendance of Russian president Vladimir Putin has yet to be confirmed.