• World Cup

England set to miss out on World Cup seeding

ESPN staff
October 4, 2013 « FIFA: Qatar winter verdict may not come until 2015 | Chartbeat test »

England could face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages should they qualify for the 2014 World Cup after FIFA confirmed the top seeds in the groups will be hosts Brazil and the seven best-ranked teams in the October standings.

Friday's decision by FIFA's executive committee means Belgium and Colombia - who did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup - are almost assured of being seeded in the December 6 draw. It also means that England are set to drop out of the seeds for this tournament.

The current top seven teams are Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay. Brazil are ranked No. 8.

The other draw pots will be determined by "geographic and sports criteria".

FIFA originally planned to agree on a seeding method just before the draw in Salvador de Bahia. But they have opted for a simple reference to their world rankings rather than to also weigh teams' performances at previous World Cups.

The next rankings are published on October 17.

As for construction progress in Brazil, the stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo has just had goalposts installed. Organizers in the city of Cuiaba are still trying to find a supplier for the seats for their venue.

With less than three months to go before the December deadline established by FIFA for the delivery of the 12 World Cup stadiums, Brazil is working to have all venues ready in time. Local organizers say they'll meet it, but some recent setbacks have prompted concern.

Of the six stadiums yet to be delivered, five were less than 90 percent completed by September, according to the most recent government numbers. The other six venues were ready before this year's Confederations Cup - just barely.

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