Friday 07 December 2018, 15:05

The Draw: How does it work?

  • The Draw procedure explained

  • The 24 teams will be drawn in six groups of four

  • Procedure presented to the media at a round table

Why is this team in that position? Why can’t these two teams face each other in the group phase? Why has the draw assistant missed out a group and put that team in the next group? And why is that ball red when the others are blue?

We know how you feel. When you have not done your homework and you do not have all the information at your fingertips, there are some things about a tournament draw that can be hard to work out. wants to make sure that is not the case when the Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ takes place on 8 December, which is why it has all the details on the procedure.

Held at La Seine Musicale, near Paris, the Draw will begin at 18.00 (local time) and will see the 24 participating nations drawn into six groups of four. Here are the main points you need to know:

  • The 24 teams will be allocated to four pots of six teams each, in accordance with their position in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.

  • France are in Pot 1, in a red ball, and will automatically occupy Position 1 in Group A.

  • The five remaining teams in Pot 1 will then each be allocated to Position 1 in the remaining groups (from B1 to F1).

  • The teams in the other three pots will be drawn one by one and allocated to a group (from A to F) and a position (from 2 to 4).

FIFA’s general rule is that no group should comprise more than one team from the same confederation. That means, for example, that Japan, who are in Pot 2, cannot be drawn in the same group as fellow AFC representatives Australia, who are one of the seeded teams in Pot 1. This rule applies to all confederations with the exception of Europe, which is represented by nine teams, though there can be no more than two European teams in one group. This means that three groups will feature two European teams and the other three just one.

Did you get all that? If so, then you are more than ready to follow what the Draw has in store.

The procedure was unveiled at a media round table held the day before the big event. Also in attendance were USA midfielder and Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 winner Carli Lloyd; former France international and current French Football Federation Secretary General Laura Georges; Marinette Pichon, France’s women’s team’s all-time record goalscorer; and Erwan Le Prevost, the head of the France 2019 Local Organising Committee.

“Draws are always exciting, especially when you’re lucky enough to be involved,” said Lloyd, the 2015 FIFA World Player of the Year and the winner of the Best FIFA Women’s Player award the following year. “It makes it even more special, and I can’t wait to be there. Women’s football is getting bigger all the time and there’s growing excitement about this World Cup. France has done an incredible job already and it’s going to be a spectacular World Cup.”

“Obviously there’s a huge amount of pressure on the host nation because the eyes of the whole world are on you,” said Pichon, the scorer of 81 goals in 112 appearances. “You have to be able to put all that to one side, though, and focus on the pitch and be ready to fight in each match. That’s why I just can’t wait to see tomorrow’s Draw, to see the size of the task awaiting us,” she added, before jokingly telling Lloyd that she wanted to see their two teams together in the Final.

To get there, however, they will have to get out of their respective groups. In 24 hours’ time, they will know who will be waiting for them there.