Report: Europe's biggest nations kept apart for World Cup qualifying draw

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The biggest nations in European football will be seeded and therefore kept apart in December's World Cup qualifying draw, according to ESPN's Dale Johnson.

World Cup holder France will be seeded for the first time in 12 years. Italy returns to the top pot after missing out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Wales and Romania were the top seeds in the last qualification cycle but have fallen down the FIFA World Ranking and dropped to the second pot as a result.

One nation will be pulled from each pot to create a qualification group. There will be five groups of six and five groups of five. Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain will be drawn into the five-team groups to keep the October 2021 international break free for the Nations League finals.

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands

Pot 2: Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Wales, Austria, Ukraine, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania

Pot 3: Russia, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Hungary, Czech Republic, Scotland, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Greece

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Israel, Georgia, Luxembourg

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra

Pot 6: Moldova, Malta, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

The qualification draw will be conducted on Dec. 7 in Zurich before qualifiers begin in March.

The World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to run from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022. Thirteen national teams under UEFA's umbrella will compete in the tournament.

Report: Europe's biggest nations kept apart for World Cup qualifying draw
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