2018 FIFA World Cup draw, Russia, highlights: Germany in tough Group F

Germany, Spain and Argentina were handed tough groups at the 2018 FIFAโ€‰World Cup draw ceremony in Moscow, Russia on Friday. Get highlights of the 2018 FIFAโ€‰World Cup draw here.

football Updated: Dec 01, 2017 23:45 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA World Cup,2018 FIFA World Cup,2018 FIFA World Cup draw live updates
The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw took place in Moscow, Russia on Friday. Get highlights of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw here.(REUTERS)

The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw in Russia on Friday saw defending champions Germany selected in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.Spain, the 2010 winners, will meet Iberian rivals Portugal as well as Morocco and Iran in Group B following the ceremony that was staged at the Kremlin in Moscow. Brazil were drawn alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E. The 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony gave Russia the chance to showcase the cities and stadiums that will host the 32 teams next June and July. Get highlights of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw, Russia here.

9:36 PM IST: Russia will play Saudi Arabia in the opening game of next year’s World Cup, a match between the lowest ranked teams in the FIFA rankings.The Group A match will take place on June 14 at the 81,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

9:32 PM IST: 

9:30 PM IST: Germany, Spain and Argentina have all received quite challenging group stage opponents.

9:28 PM IST: Group H - Poland, Colombia, Senegal, Japan

9:27 PM IST: Group G - Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama

9:26 PM IST:  Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

9:25 PM IST: Group C - France, Peru, Denmark, Australia

9:24 PM IST: Group D -Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria

9:23 PM IST: Group B - Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran

9:22 PM IST: Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

9:20 PM IST: Group A - Russia, Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

9:19 PM IST: Tunisia is placed in Group G while Senegal will be a part of Group H.

9:18 PM IST: Brazil, Switzerland will be joined by Costa Rica. Germany, Mexico will be joined by Sweden.

9:17 PM IST: Iceland, Croatia and Argentina in Group D.

9:16 PM IST: Potential group of death! Iran joins Portugal, Spain in Group B.

9:15 PM IST: Denmark joins Peru and France in Group C.

9:14 PM IST: Egypt becomes the third team in Group A.

9:13 PM IST: Big match alert! England to play Belgium in the group stages.

9:12 PM IST: Switzerland to placed in Group E and Mexico will join Germany in Group F.

9:11 PM IST: Croatia is the second team to be placed in Group D alongside Argentina.

9:10 PM IST: Peru joins France in Group C.

9:08 PM IST: Spain, Portugal placed in Group B.

9:08 PM IST: Uruguay to be placed alongside Russia in Group A.

9:06 PM IST: Germany to play in Group F, Belgium in Group G and Poland in Group H.

9:04 PM IST: Argentina to play in Group D while Brazil will be placed in Group E.

9:03 PM IST: France to be placed in Group C.

9:03 PM IST: Portugal to be placed in Group B.

9:02 PM IST: Russia is placed in Group A.

8:59 PM IST: The legends have taken their positions and we are ready for the main draw.

8:55 PM IST: The legends are being introduced on the stage with each standing in front of a pot.Gordon Banks and Diego Maradona are the first ones to be introduced.

8:50 PM IST: The main draw will begin in a few minutes.

8:45 PM IST: Germany legend Miroslav Klose is here with the trophy.

8:42 PM IST: What Vladimir Putin said - “The most coveted trophy will be won by the team showing the most resilience.I would like to wish success to all the teams and I call upon all loyal fans to come to Russia and enjoy the finals of 2018.”

8:40 PM IST: FIFA President Gianni Infantino describes the process of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.

8:36 PM IST: Putin talks about the history of football in Russia and the great players that the country has produced over the years.

8:33 PM IST: Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Gianni Infantino to start proceedings.

8:30 PM IST: The presenters are here and we are underway!

8:24 PM IST: No two nations from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, can be drawn into the same group. There can be a maximum of two European nations in the same group.

8:13 PM IST: The guests are arriving in the Kremlin and we are few minutes away from the event.

8:02 PM IST: Belgium are an interesting Pot 1 proposition but with a team full of Premier League stars like Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Spurs trio Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, they will be expected to go deep into the tournament.

7:51 PM IST: Playing greats including Pele and Diego Maradona are expected to assist with the draw, which will be presented by former England forward Gary Lineker — a frequent critic of FIFA — and Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya.

7:43 PM IST: 

7:38 PM IST: The five World Cup teams from Africa will get $500,000 each from the continental governing body to help prepare for the tournament.

7:30 PM IST: Germany coach Joachim Loew has arrived for the World Cup draw. Loew was among the first to get to the Kremlin for the draw, where defending champion Germany will learn who it plays in the group stage.

7:28 PM IST: 

7:15 PM IST: Miroslav Klose, Pele and Uwe Seeler have scored in four different World Cup tournaments. The only players who could potentially equal that record in next year’s tournament are Tim Cahill, Rafael Márquez, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Villa.

7:06 PM IST: Germany, Brazil and Argentina are all in the first pot along with France, European champions Portugal, Belgium, Poland and the hosts.

6:54 PM IST: In other news, the International Olympic Committee will meet to decide whether to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, over allegations that it ran a state-sponsored doping programme for years.

6:46 PM IST: Mexico have qualified for the World Cup the most times without ever winning it (16).

6:35 PM IST: The teams who will be missed in this FIFA World Cup - African champions Cameroon, South American champions Chile, United States, Italy and Netherlands.

6:26 PM IST: Brazilian legend Pele will be present in Russia for the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.

6:11 PM IST: With Spain, England and Uruguay in Pot 2, the teams in Pot 1 will look to avoid tough opponents.

6:00 PM IST: 

5:34 PM IST: President Vladimir Putin is expected to address the footballing world that has descended upon Moscow, in the midst of a freezing Russian winter, to find out who will play who, when and where at the competition next year.

5:22 PM IST: Former Manchester United, Everton and Rangers footballer Andrei Kanchelskis is confident Russia will make a success of hosting the 2018 World Cup. “I’ll say it – there is no problem. I know there has been a lot of criticism, a lot of people saying bad things about Russia. Listen, I believe in Russia.Definitely it is [going to be] a great, great World Cup. Everybody is very welcome at the World Cup.”

5:14 PM IST: Russia passed its Confederations Cup test in terms of the tournament being free of hooliganism or racist incidents but the glare will be sharper and more prolonged come next year. Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare), a pressure group that campaigns for equality in the sport, this week warned LGBT fans against holding hands and displaying affection in public if attending the finals.

5:07 PM IST: The top XI star players who will be not featuring in this world stage tournament are Alexis Sanchez, Gareth Bale, Gianluigi Buffon, Antonio Valencia, Virgil van Dijk, Leonardo Bonucci, David Alaba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arturo Vidal, Arjen Robben and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

4:58 PM IST: Any of the nations in the lower seeded pots would gladly take on Russia as the weakest side in pot one – a position the team ranked 65th in the world only hold by virtue of their status as hosts.

4:47 PM IST: After lifting the trophy four times, Gian Piero Ventura’s side will have to wait at least four years for another opportunity. For the first time since 1958, Italy won’t be participating in a World Cup.

4:37 PM: The FIFA World Cup is returning to Europe for the first time since 2006 when it was held in Germany. Italy were the winners of that edition.

3:35 PM IST:

3:27 PM IST: Eight legends will act as draw assistants during the ceremony: France’s Laurent Blanc, England goalkeeping great Gordon Banks, Cafu of Brazil, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, Uruguayan Diego Forlan, Argentina legend Diego Maradona, Spain’s Carles Puyol and Nikita Simonya of Russia.

What is the format of the draw?

The 32 teams are split into four pots, with Russia and the seven highest-ranked nations in pot one, and the lowest-ranked teams in pot four. Each group will have one team from each pot, but there will be restrictions in terms of teams from the same confederations. There can be no more than two European nations in any one group, while there may only be a single country from each of the other confederations.

Servicemen practice at the Kremlin in Moscow on November 30, 2017 on the eve of the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)

Who is in the draw?

The line-up for the draw is as follows:

Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France.

Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia.

Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran.

Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia.

When is the World Cup?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup gets started on June 14 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and will see hosts Russia face a team from pot two. The group stage will run for exactly two weeks, with the knockout phase then beginning on June 30, two days after the final Group H contests. The final will take place on July 15, with the Luzhniki the setting once again.

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 15:25 IST