New FIFA rankings set seeds for 2014 World Cup

Scott Heavey

The seeds for the World Cup are just about set, with just one spot still up for grabs after FIFA released the October world rankings.

Switzerland, Belgium and Colombia will be three of the seeded teams at the 2014 World Cup draw after securing top-seven spots in the October FIFA rankings. The three will be joined by Spain, Germany and Argentina, all of whom were also ranked in the top seven, and host Brazil in Pot 1 at the draw for next summer's tournament.

One seeded place is still to be determined because Uruguay, who is ranked sixth and would be in line to be in Pot 1, have yet to qualify for the World Cup. They have a two-legged playoff against Jordan next month to get into the tournament and if they win it, they will be seeded. If Jordan manages to pull the upset and keep Uruguay from the tournament, eighth-ranked Netherlands will be seeded.

FIFA rankings are normally a monthly target of jokes and sneering, but because FIFA decided that the October rankings would determine the seeds for the World Cup, they took on extreme importance. They are still hardly believable and rarely indicative of teams' quality, but for at least one month, they matter.

Switzerland and Colombia are considered the two weakest seeded teams, and most teams will be hoping to be drawn into their groups during the Dec. 6 draw, while Belgium are undoubtedly talented and impressive, but are inexperienced in major international tournaments. Even the most fervent Belgium fans, who have rightly tipped the team to be a World Cup title contender, are a bit hesitant because of the stage awaiting the team.

While the Netherlands are left to hope they don't get barely left out of Pot 1, Italy, England, Chile and the United States don't even have hope. They are the next four teams to miss out on the top seven, and all of them, except for Chile and England, carried some hope that they could move into a seeded place this month, but it was not to be.

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