DOHA, Qatar ( Associated Press) — The United States got a boost to a World Cup draw and Canada took a hit in Thursday’s updated FIFA rankings.
The Americans, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup, will be in pot 2 after finishing 15th in the world.
Canada, which won the North American qualifying group and will play in the tournament for the first time in 36 years, missed their chance to raise the rankings after losing 1–0 to Panama in their final qualifier.
Instead, Canada will be among the lowest seeded teams in Pot 4.
Eight groups will be drawn from four pots on Friday for the tournament in Qatar.
Qatar gets the top-seeded position given to the World Cup host nation, despite being ranked 51st.
The other top seeded teams are Brazil, Belgium, defending champions France, Argentina, England, Spain and Portugal.
Brazil took over from Belgium as the No. 1 team, the first change as the top in three years. Italy, ranked sixth in the top 10, is the only team that failed to qualify.
In addition to the United States, Pot 2 includes Mexico, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland and Croatia, while Pot 3 includes Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea and Tunisia.
Three of the 32 entries are still unknown as the qualification has not been met. Those three entries are placed in Pot 4, regardless of the ranking of the teams involved. Number 18 Wales is the highest ranked of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs.
The rest of Pot 4 includes Canada, Cameroon, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia and Ghana.
Teams from the same continent will be placed in separate groups, except for a few Europeans.
The tournament features 13 teams from Europe and five of the eight groups will receive two teams from the continent. The other three groups each receive a European team.
Qatar will make their home World Cup debut in the opening game of Group A on 21 November. The final is scheduled for December 18 – the host’s national day.
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