The past few days saw football action from various parts of the world. Several countries played against each other either in friendly games or for a chance to feature at the next edition of the FIFA World Cup.
While some of those games ended in drab, boring draws, others featured goal fests and drama that had tongues around the world wagging.
As we look ahead to the coming days of club football and the World Cup year ahead of us, we try to discuss the several possible pairings that could happen when the draw takes place December. But how did we get to where we are now?
It’s usually one of the longest-running set of fixtures you’ll find on any country’s football team’s schedule. Most of the four-year interval between a just-concluded World Cup competition and the next is usually spent in a race to qualify for the next one. (Did you say rat race?!)
This edition of the World Cup qualifiers had countries like Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Nigeria and the likes make light work of their qualifiers. Other countries like Argentina, Sweden, and co. needed last-minute miracles to make it through. Sadly, countries like Ivory Coast and Italy couldn’t make the cut.
Life After the Qualifiers
Not all the qualifying games have been sorted out. New Zealand will face Peru on Thursday to determine the final World Cup participant. But the world is already keeping one eye on the draws that will determine how the World Cup finals itself will play out.
Permutations are already flying about as to which teams will be in the same group after the draws are made next month. FIFA has already given us a hint as to the kind of draws we can look out for.
The 32 teams will be split into four pots based on their current FIFA world rankings, with the Pot 1 containing the seven highest-ranked sides plus tournament hosts Russia. Pot 2 will feature the next best teams, and so on and so forth for Pots 3 and 4.
As of the time of writing this blog post, these are the teams that have qualified for the World Cup:
- CONMEBOL (South America): Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia
- CONCACAF (North/Central America and Caribbean): Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama
- AFC (Asia): Iran Football, South Korea Football, Japan Football, Saudi Arabia
- CAF (Africa): Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt
- UEFA (Europe): Russia (hosts) France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden
With countries like Brazil, Argentina, Germany set to be in Pot 1 and the likes of England, Spain, Colombia set to be in Pot 2, some big names might as well start getting eliminated from the competition as early as after the group stages.
The world is already talking about the possible groupings for the Russia 2018 World Cup. What’s yours? Which teams do you think will be put in the same group as the Super Eagles of Nigeria? Leave us a comment and let’s hear your opinion.Tags: life after qualifiers, Russia 2018