World Cup 2014 draw: England may suffer as Fifa moves goalposts

One unseeded European team will be moved to a different pot before Friday's draw

England’s path through the group stages at next year’s World Cup in Brazil could be made more difficult after Fifa announced a surprise change to the way Friday’s draw will be held on Tuesday.

Under the new formula, before the main draw takes place, one of the nine unseeded European teams from Pot Four will be drawn at random and moved to Pot Two, meaning they will definitely face one of the four South American seeds, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Uruguay, in the group stage.

If that team is England it would create an extra headache for Roy Hodgson in his bid to qualify from the group and reach the last 16.

World Cup Draw 2014 LIVE - Who will England face in Brazil?

It had been expected that France, as the lowest-ranked European side to qualify through the play-offs, would be moved to Pot Two – which contains seven teams from Africa and South America – in order to make the number of nations in each pot equal.

The South American team to face the European side in Pot Two will be chosen by putting all four seeds into a “Pot X” and drawing one out. The three South American seeds not drawn against the European team in Pot Two will go back into the main draw.

This Pot Two formula will ensure that there will be no more than two Uefa qualifiers in the same group.

Meanwhile, players will be forced to endure the full heat of Brazil’s tropical climate after the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, said a request from international players’ union FifPro to shift early afternoon kick-offs to cooler times of the day had been rejected.

Matches will kick off at three times each day – including the hottest period, 1pm local time – for European TV audiences.

It was also confirmed that building work on three stadiums is behind schedule. Delays in Curitiba and Cuiaba mean they will not be ready until February – missing the 31 December deadline for handover to Fifa, while Sao Paulo was delayed by last week’s fatal accident.

However, the governing body insisted that the tournament will start on time.

 

Pot 1 (top eight seeds): Brazil, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland, Uruguay

Pot 2: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador, (plus one from pot four)

Pot 3: Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras

Pot 4 (-1 one before draw): Bosnia, Croatia, England, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia,France

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there