Latest updates

Check the Important info page for latest updates! (18 April 2014)
Twitter Linked In

Friday, December 13, 2013

World Cup draw: Seeding all the teams

Possible? Yes.

Complicated? Yes.

Pot 1: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland
Pot 2: Netherlands, Italy, England, Chile, USA, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Pot 3: Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Russia, France, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Costa Rica
Pot 4: Algeria, Nigeria, Honduras, Japan, Iran, Korea Republic, Australia, Cameroon

Pot 1: draw all the seeds and assign them to groups

Pot 2: there are teams from UEFA, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF. The draw algorithm goes like this:

 - if it's an UEFA team it will go to the first available group with a CONMEBOL seed (if Chile were't drawn yet) or to the first available group (if Chile were drawn)
 - if it's Chile (the only CONMEBOL team in the pot) it will go to the first available group with an UEFA seed
 - no restriction for the USA

Pot 3: teams from CAF, UEFA, CONMEBOL and CONCACAF

 - Côte d'Ivoire/Ghana will go the first group available team with an CONMEBOL seed or two UEFA teams or USA's group
 - Ecuador will go to the first available group with no CONMEBOL team
 - the European teams can only be drawn into a group with at most one other UEFA team
 - Mexico and Costa Rica can't be drawn in USA's group

Pot 4: teams from CAF, CONCACAF and AFC

 - Asian teams will go to the first available group with a CONCACAF or CAF team
 - Honduras can't be drawn in the same group with USA, Mexico or Costa Rica - it will go the first available group with a CONCACAF team
 - African teams can't be drawn in the same group with Côte d'Ivoire/Ghana - they will go the first available group with a CAF team

Using the order from the official draw, these would have been the groups:

Group A: Brazil, Netherlands, Croatia, Nigeria
Group B: Spain, Chile, Costa Rica, Korea Republic
Group C: Colombia, Italy, Russia, Cameroon
Group D: Uruguay, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Honduras
Group E: Switzerland, England, Ecuador, Australia
Group F: Argentina, Greece, Ghana, Japan
Group G: Germany, USA, Côte d'Ivoire, Iran
Group H: Belgium, Portugal, Mexico, Algeria

12 comments:

  1. With all teams being seeded, what the closest to the official draw result can be archived?
    Last two world cups, you could switch just two or three pairs of teams and get a draw possible with complete seeding. How about this time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Swap Italy and France
      Swap Costa Rica and Iran
      Swap Croatia and Netherlands
      Swap USA and Korea Republic

      Delete
  2. It's a great idea and one that FIFA should deploy. The "geographic" pots are flawed as there is often large differences in quality within the pots, plus it prevents (for example) the chance for a North American team to play an Asian team. The draw above has a better balance than the official draw although Brazil wouldn't be so pleased! Plus Group E looks even weaker than the real one! The biggest problem was Switzerland sneaking into the Top 8 based on an easy qualifying group and a couple of good friendly wins.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tahiti seeded in the finals, really?

      Delete
    2. James, please see my point below regarding the seeding. I think seeding the host, holder and continental champion would be reasonable, but my main point is to make the qualifiers truly global, while making sure that each confederation has at least one spot. If desirable, the seeding could instead be based entirely on the FIFA world rankings.

      Delete
    3. I think you have thought your idea out well and that the current system does need some form of an overhaul, but adding that amount of travel into an already congested domestic schedule would be problematic and the major European clubs wouldn't buy into it.
      Personally, with respect to Oceania, I think the winner of that section should join the final Asian round of qualification. This will at least enable them to get some competitive football rather than having a long wait and then playing a difficult 2-leg affair with the likes of Uruguay or Mexico. As for other global play-offs, I think a Pan-American play-off between Concacaf 4th and Conmebol 6th makes sense. I actually think FIFA have the continental slots more or less correct based on current strengths. My main issue is that their rankings and methods of "potting" teams for the Finals draw is flawed to say the least. It shouldn't be that hard to get 8 evenly balanced groups in the finals and yet, for the umpteenth time, they have screwed it up (either by accident or design, depending on whether people believe the conspiracy theories!)

      Delete
    4. Thank you for your feedback James, and please see my comments below.

      Delete
  4. I have a completely new suggestion for how to handle the World Cup qualifying (and seeding). The idea is to maintain a truly global competition with participation from all 6 confederations, but also base the representation from each confederation on performance rather than politics. So here are the high level suggestions:
    Host, holder and contintental champion to qualify directly, thus ensuring each confederation has at least one participant.
    This leaves 24 additional spots for global qualifiers: 16 groups of 6 teams, where winner of each group qualifies and the runner-up qualifies for a play-off against another runner-up.
    In the final tournament, the continental champions+holders+hosts would be seeded in pot 1, the top 8 group winners in pot 2, the 8 worst group winners in pot 3 and the eight play-off winners in pot 4.
    I agree the biggest obstacle for global qualifiers would be travel cost. However, I think it would create a much more fair and transparent qualification process. Some additional details:
    Assuming the directly qualified teams would be those who qualified for the confederations cup in 2013, i.e. Spain, Uruguay, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Japan and Tahiti, the 16 groups could look something like

    GrA Tys Pan Per UAE Tog Qat
    GrB Arg Ven CpV Bol Mor Lit
    GrC Col Arm Egy Zam Bul Geo
    GrD Por Sco Hon Uzb Sle Cub
    GrE Swi Iran Tur Irl Pol Ben
    GrF Ned Rom Hun Sen Gab Lib
    GrG Bel CR Mal Jor Trt Bot
    GrH Gre Ser Aut Fin Hai Mol
    Gr I Eng Sln Tun Isr Jam Azer
    GrJ USA CzR Ice Saf Bel Est
    GrK Chi Swe Cam Gui CDR Eth
    GrL Cro Alg Par Slk Mac CPR
    GrM IvC Den Mnt Lib Con ElS
    GrN Ucr Ghn Bfa Aus Oma NyZ
    GrO Bos Ecu Cor Alb Uga Nir
    GrP Fra Rus Nor Wal Sau Ang

    An obvious question is what would happen to the remaining 105 teams currently included in the FIFA world rankings. Here I would suggest dividing them into 16 groups in division B, where the winner gets to qualify for a place in division A for the next cycle, while the runner-up gets to play-off for a place in division A. In the same way, teams in division A that finish last would be relegated to division B, while teams in division A who finish fifth would get to play-off against the runner-ups in division B. The final issue is how to select the 96+8 teams to join division A for the first cycle. One idea would be to for the world cup qualifiers for Russia 2018, in addition to finding 31 teams to join Russia, have 42 spots for qualification to division A and an additional 46 spots that would play-off for the final 23 spots. For Qatar 2022 division A would then consist of 32+42+23=97 teams (including the 2018 world champion who would qualify directly for Qatar 2022), plus Qatar and the 6 continental champions (who would along with the 2018 world champion would qualify directly for Qatar 2022). Hence, a total of 104 teams, of which 8 would qualify directly and 96 would compete for the remaining 24 spots as described above.

    What do people think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fredrik, as a football fan I think it's a good idea. I always enjoyed the concept of global qualifiers.

      As you mentioned the first two problems are: politics and costs.

      The OFC winner should be invited to the next AFC Nations Cup.

      Delete
  5. I received a question about the Oceania winner being seeded. The main point is however not the seeding, but having a truly global nature of the qualifiers, without endless political discussions about how many spots each confederation deserves. If desirable the final seeding could be done completely based on the FIFA world rankings, though I would prefer the scheme outlined above.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for your constructive feed-back James. You are right that the major European clubs could have objections, but don't they always when it comes to international football? With my format, the number of games would not increase and there may at most two games that are far away. E.g. England according to the hypothetic scenario above would still have three opponents from UEFA. Also, some stars from e.g. South America based in Europe would be playing away games in Europe. With current format, there threats from Blatter (increasing participations from weaker continents for political reasons) and Platini's even more worrying proposal of increasing the number of teams to 40. Regarding current seeding, I think all 32 teams being seeded based on world rankings, as explained by Edgar above, would be an improvement over today's procedure. Having said that I think that basing the top seeds on world rankings is much more fair than basing it on FIFA politics as was the case in the bast.

    James DJanuary 3, 2014 at 11:38 PM

    I think you have thought your idea out well and that the current system does need some form of an overhaul, but adding that amount of travel into an already congested domestic schedule would be problematic and the major European clubs wouldn't buy into it.
    Personally, with respect to Oceania, I think the winner of that section should join the final Asian round of qualification. This will at least enable them to get some competitive football rather than having a long wait and then playing a difficult 2-leg affair with the likes of Uruguay or Mexico. As for other global play-offs, I think a Pan-American play-off between Concacaf 4th and Conmebol 6th makes sense. I actually think FIFA have the continental slots more or less correct based on current strengths. My main issue is that their rankings and methods of "potting" teams for the Finals draw is flawed to say the least. It shouldn't be that hard to get 8 evenly balanced groups in the finals and yet, for the umpteenth time, they have screwed it up (either by accident or design, depending on whether people believe the conspiracy theories!)

    ReplyDelete