WHEN IS THE DRAW?
With the 2014 World Cup kicking off in just 194 days, the focus of the football world is slowly turning towards the draw for next summer's tournament, with national team coaches desperate to find out who their group opponents will be.
The highly-anticipated event will take place on Friday, December 6 in Costa do Sauipe in the Brazilian state of Bahia, a wildly popular holiday location, and it should make for compelling and dramatic viewing.
The show is scheduled to start at 13:00 local time (11:00 am ET) and will be presented by Brazilian actors Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert, with artists such as Margareth Menezes, Olodum, Alcione and Emicida providing the entertainment.
Additionally, World Cup legends Cafu, Fabio Cannavaro, Mario Kempes, Lothar Matthaus, Zinedine Zidane and Geoff Hurst will all be involved in the draw itself.
WHEN IS THE WORLD CUP ITSELF?
Next summer's tournament kicks off on June 12 in Sao Paulo with Brazil already penciled in as one of the two participants in the opening game.
The group stage comes to an end on June 26, with the final two Group H clashes to take place that evening.
The first games of the round of 16 will be held only two days later in Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, with the first knockout stage of the competition set to conclude on July 1.
The four quarterfinals will then be staged on July 4 and 5, while the semifinals take place on July 8 and 9.
The 2014 World Cup winner will be crowned on July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
WHICH NATION IS IN WHAT POT?
The seven highest-ranked teams from October's FIFA World Ranking (Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay and Switzerland) plus Brazil will all be seeded for the draw and will, therefore, be placed in Pot 1.
Pot 2 will consist of four teams from North America (USA, Mexico, Costa Rica and Honduras) plus the four qualifiers from the Asia section (Japan, Iran, South Korea and Australia), while Pot 3 will be made up of five African teams (Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon), two from South America (Chile and Ecuador) and the lowest-ranked European country, France.
Finally, the remaining eight European nations (Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Russia) go into in Pot 4.
It is worth noting that a maximum of two teams from Europe will be permitted in each of the eight groups.
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