Here are the pots for today's drawThere 24 teams will be placed in six groups. These are based on the latest Fifa rankings released on Friday.
Pot 1: France (host), USA (Owner), Germany, England, Canada, Australia.
Pot 2: Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Norway.
Pot 3: South Korea, China, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Thailand.
Pot 4: Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Jamaica.
The order in each pot is determined by leaderboard, except for France – the host of the tournament next year – who is sure of the raffle: They will take first place in Group A., The US is both the world's # 1 team and title holder. From there, a pot 1 team per group, then a pot 2 team and so on.
Gentle sailing then. Oh. If no non-European team is drawn representing the same confederation as a team already present in a group, it is one team per confederation per group. To this end, note that Australia in Pot 1 is part of the Asian Football Confederation. By the elimination process, we know the other thing: the Pot-2 team in Australia's group will not be Japan.
Europe is the exception (it is not always?), as it has nine teams in the tournament, but there can not be more than two European teams in a group.
Conclusion: There are two European teams in three groups and one each in the other three.
The distribution of the 24 teams to Confederation is the way:
Africa: 3 teams
North America, Central America and the Caribbean: 3
South America: 3
In addition to the group winners and runners-up, the four best third place finishers of the six groups are also making headway.
I know, I know. But we all survived the brain-melting permutations of the Euro 2020 draw, so stay tuned.