Asian hopefuls set to learn World Cup opponents

( 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 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)

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

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)