Soccer: France join top seeds for World Cup draw
ZURICH (Reuters) - France will be among the top seeds for next month's World Cup draw after they climbed to seventh in the FIFA rankings published on Monday.
The draw for next year's finals will be held in Moscow on Dec. 1 when the 32 teams will be divided into four pots according to their position in the rankings.
The seven top-ranked sides plus hosts Russia go into in pot one, the next eight ranked teams will be in pot two and so on.
Each of the eight four-team first-round groups will consist of one team drawn from each pot.
The top seven teams on Monday were Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France - all among the 23 teams who have guaranteed their places in Russia.
Spain will be in pot two, where they will be joined by England, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Peru, Switzerland and Italy, who all face playoffs in November, will also go into pot two if they qualify.
Peru, who face New Zealand in November as they attempt to end a 36-year absence from the World Cup, climbed into the top 10 for the first time.
New Zealand are 122nd, the lowest of any team still in contention for a place in Russia. South American champions Chile, ninth, were the highest-ranked team to fail to qualify.
The rankings also confirmed that Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark will be the seeded teams for the European playoffs, which will be drawn on Tuesday and played over two legs in November.
Northern Ireland, Ireland, Greece and Sweden are the other teams involved.
At 65th, Russia are the lowest placed of the teams who have qualified so far although they have only played friendlies since Euro 2016 which earn fewer points under the complex ranking system.
Iceland, who became the smallest country to qualify for a World Cup when they won their European group last week, will either be in pot two or three depending on who else qualifies. Panama, the other debutants, will be in pot four.
Nigeria and Serbia could also end up in pot four, depending who goes through from the playoffs.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Ed Osmond)