The procedure has been confirmed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminary draw in Rio de Janeiro on 30 July from 20.00CET, with the 53 European hopefuls including holders Spain to be split into nine groups.
In the European qualifying competition, played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013, there will be eight groups of six teams and one of five. The nine section winners will progress straight to the finals in Brazil and the eight best runners-up will play off for the remaining four berths over two legs from 15 to 19 November 2013, with the winners of those matches also competing in South America.
There will be six seeding pots based on the July 2011 FIFA World Ranking to be released before the draw. The top nine teams will be placed in Pot 1, the next nine in Pot 2 and so on, with the lowest eight in Pot 6. Each pool will contain one team from each pot, except for the five-team Group I which will have no country from Pot 6.
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