The final draw for the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup will take place on Friday, December 1st in the Russian capital, Moscow, at the State Kremlin Palace. The official hosts for the draw ceremony, former England striker Gary Lineker and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya, will be assisted by eight former footballers who have been chosen to represent the host nation and seven World Cup-winning teams.
Laurent Blanc (France), Gordon Banks (England), Cafu (Brazil), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Carles Puyol (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay) and Diego Maradona (Argentina) represent seven of the nations to have won the tournament and Nikita Simonyan will represent Russia.
The 32 qualified teams are already pooled into four pots based on their current FIFA rankings, with Russia, as the host country, heading the A group.
Eight groups will be drawn in total, from A-H.
Each group will contain one team from each pot, and no team can be drawn alongside another team from the same pot.
No teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, will be drawn in the same group.
A maximum of two European countries can be in any group.
Africa will be represented at the World competition by Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria and Morocco.
Notably, Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Cameroon will miss the Russian showdown after failing to qualify from their group. The Indomitable Lions finished third after Nigeria and Zambia.
Russia will host its first FIFA World Cup on June 14 — July 15, 2018. The games will take place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg and Sochi.
“We have an ambitious aim, we want to hold the best world championship ever. I think that FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will be the best in history. Football is a magic, it can change a lot. I think that football can make people look on their country, other countries and people from a different angle,” FIFA President Giovanni Vincenzo “Gianni” Infantino told journalists.
Eight nations in total have won the World Cup: Brazil – 5 times, Germany – 4 times , Italy – 4 times , Uruguay – Twice, Argentina – Twice, England – Once, France – Once and Spain – Once.