FIFA to use October rankings for World Cup seeding

The top seven teams, in addition to host Brazil, in the next edition of the FIFA rankings will make up Pot 1 in December's draw for next summer's competition.
FIFA will use the October world rankings to determine its seeding for next summer's World Cup, the world's governing body announced on Friday.

The FIFA Executive Committee met Thursday and Friday in Zurich to discuss a number of issues, with the World Cup draw among them. Instead of using the November rankings, which would be the most recent ahead of the Dec. 3 World Cup draw in Brazil, FIFA has opted to use October's.

According to FIFA, using the November edition would provide an unfair advantage for teams who will have the opportunity to accrue more standings points by virtue of participating in World Cup qualifying playoff matches on the November international dates.

As a result, host Brazil and the top seven teams in the rankings released on Oct. 17 will make up Pot 1 in the draw, while the remaining three pots will be determined by "geographic and sports criteria," according to FIFA.

Brazil is currently ranked eighth in the world, and the seven ahead of the Selecao are (in order): Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay. The next four teams on the outside looking in ahead of the upcoming two FIFA international fixture dates are the Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal and Greece.

Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. national team is next in line after that, meaning a rare and unlikely combination of teams failing to qualify for the World Cup and/or slipping in the rankings with the USA sweeping its final two qualifying matches could result in the Yanks sneaking into a seeded position.