Football: France among top seeds for World Cup draw, Spain & England in pot 2; Lions sink to worst 173 ranking

The top six teams on Monday were Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland - all among the 23 teams who have so far guaranteed their places in Russia.
The top six teams on Monday were Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland - all among the 23 teams who have so far guaranteed their places in Russia.PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH (REUTERS) - France will be among the top seeds for next month's World Cup draw after they climbed one spot to seventh in the Fifa rankings published on Monday (Oct 16).

But Singapore have plunged to a record-low 173rd place after losing 1-3 to Qatar in a friendly and 1-2 to Turkmenistan in their 2019 Asian Cup qualifier earlier in October. Their previous worst placing was 171 in August, as well as in October 2016.

The draw for next year's Finals will be held in Moscow on Dec 1 when the 32 finalists will be divided into four pots according to their position in the rankings announced on Monday.

The seven top-ranked teams plus hosts Russia go into in pot one, the next eight ranked teams 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 six teams on Monday were Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland - all among the 23 teams who have so far guaranteed their places in Russia.

Eighth-ranked Spain will be in pot two, where they will be joined by England, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. Peru, Switzerland and Italy, who all face play-offs 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. But ninth-placed Chile were eliminated in the qualifiers.

The rankings also confirmed that Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark will be the seeded teams for the European play-offs, which will be drawn on Tuesday and played over two legs in November.

Northern Ireland, Ireland, Greece and Sweden are the other teams involved.

In Asia, Australia - who play Honduras (ranked 69th) in their two-legged inter-continental play-off in November - rose seven places to 43rd, second in the Asian Football Confederation after Iran (34th).

Singapore are ninth in the 11-nation Asean Football Federation, having fallen behind Laos (162nd) and Cambodia (170th) and ahead of only Brunei (184th) and Timor Leste (192nd).