Asian hopefuls set to learn World Cup opponents

(IranSportsPress.com-AFC)- Asia’s five FIFA World Cup 2018 hopefuls will discover their group stage opponents on Friday when the competition’s official draw is held in Russia.

Join the-AFC.com as we bring you all you need to know ahead of the event at Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace.

WHAT: FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Final Draw
WHERE: Moscow, Russia
WHEN: 18:00 local time (Russia is 5 hours behind Hong Kong)
WHO FROM ASIA: Islamic Republic of Iran, Australia, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia

About the Draw
The draw sequence will start with Pot 1 and end with Pot 4. Each pot will be completely emptied before moving on to the next. As per standard FIFA procedure, a ball from a team pot will be drawn, followed by a ball from one of the group pots, thus determining the position in which the respective team will play.

-In Pot 1, Russia will have a red ball and will be pre-assigned the position of A1 as host.

-The remaining seven teams in Pot 1 will automatically be drawn into position 1 of each group (B to H), whereas teams in Pots 2, 3 and 4 will be drawn into positions randomly in their groups.

-FIFA’s general principle is to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same qualification zone drawn into it.

-This is applicable to all zones except Europe, which is represented by 14 teams. Each group must have at least one but no more than two.

-European teams drawn into it. As such, six out of the eight groups will feature two European teams.

Asia’s World Cup Hopefuls:

The Islamic Republic of Iran
FIFA Ranking: 34
Previous finals – 4: 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014
Best performance: Round 1 (1978, 1998, 2006, 2014)

Australia
FIFA Ranking: 43
Previous finals – 4: 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Round of 16 (2006)

Japan
FIFA Ranking: 44
Previous finals – 5: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Round of 16 (2002, 2010)

Korea Republic
FIFA Ranking: 62
Previous finals – 9: 1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Best performance: Semi-finals (2002)

Saudi Arabia
FIFA Ranking: 63
Previous finals – 4: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006
Best performance: Round of 16 (1994)