Eight 2018 postage stamps from Russia depicting the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.
Eight 2018 postage stamps from Russia depicting the draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage.

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup took place on 1 December 2017 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia.[1] It determined the group in which each of the 32 qualified national teams will play in at the start of the tournament. The teams were divided into four pots of eight, with one team selected from each pot to form a group.

Unlike previous editions of the World Cup, all pots were determined by each national team's October 2017 FIFA World Ranking, with Pot 1 containing the highest-ranked teams, Pot 2 containing the next highest-ranked teams, and so on until Pot 4, containing the lowest ranked teams; in previous editions only one pot containing the highest-ranked teams was determined by rank, with the other three pots determined by continental confederation. The hosts continued to be placed in Pot 1 and treated as a seeded team, and therefore Pot 1 consisted of hosts Russia and the seven highest-ranked teams that qualified for the tournament.

The draw sequence started with pot 1 and ended with pot 4.[2]

As with previous editions, no group had more than one team from any continental confederation with the exception of UEFA, which had at least one, but no more than two in a group.[2]


All teams were seeded using the October 2017 FIFA World Rankings,[3] which numbers in parenthesis show, released on 16 October 2017.[4]

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
 Russia (hosts) (65)  Spain (8)  Denmark (19)  Serbia (38)
 Germany (1)  Peru (10)  Iceland (21)  Nigeria (41)
 Brazil (2)   Switzerland (11)  Costa Rica (22)  Australia (43)
 Portugal (3)  England (12)  Sweden (25)  Japan (44)
 Argentina (4)  Colombia (13)  Tunisia (28)  Morocco (48)
 Belgium (5)  Mexico (16)  Egypt (30)  Panama (49)
 Poland (6)  Uruguay (17)  Senegal (32)  South Korea (62)
 France (7)  Croatia (18)  Iran (34)  Saudi Arabia (63)

Final draw

1 2 3 4 Total Points
Group A  Russia  Saudi Arabia  Egypt  Uruguay 2,991
Group B  Portugal  Spain  Morocco  Iran 4,128
Group C  France  Australia  Peru  Denmark 4,101
Group D  Argentina  Iceland  Croatia  Nigeria 4,099
Group E  Brazil   Switzerland  Costa Rica  Serbia 4,415
Group F  Germany  Mexico  Sweden  South Korea 4,151
Group G  Belgium  Panama  Tunisia  England 3,953
Group H  Poland  Senegal  Colombia  Japan 3,944

According to the FIFA rankings,[4] the strongest group was E (combining for 4415 points), followed by F (4151), B (4128), C (4101), D (4099), G (3953), H (3944) and the weakest was the host nation's group A (2991).


  1. ^ "Final Draw to take place in State Kremlin Palace". FIFA.com. 24 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Close-up on Final Draw procedures". FIFA.com. 27 November 2017.
  3. ^ "OC for FIFA Competitions approves procedures for the Final Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup". FIFA.com. 14 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b FIFA.com. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - October 2017 - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. Retrieved 16 October 2017.