World Cup 2018 Structure and Bracket
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FIFA decides based on their metrics and rankings of nations the number of berths from each continental zone. This is how 2018 will look.
UEFA Europe - 14
CAF Africa- 5
AFC Asia - 4.5
CONMEBOL South America - 4.5
CONCACAF North, Central and Caribbean - 3.5
OFC - Oceana - .5
The fifth team from Asia (Australia) entered a playoff against the fourth placed team from CONCACAF (Honduras).
The top team from Oceana (New Zealand) entered a playoff against the fifth place team from CONMEBOL (Peru).
32 teams entered into the 2018 World Cup.
A draw determined the make-up of 8 groups of 4 nations. The draw was weighted or seeded by creating 4 pots of 8 nations starting with the
host country and then from top to bottom based on FIFA rankings. Then from there a nation was selected out of each pot for a group. This
artificially separated the nations at the top and bottom from eachother.
Even though everything is by the numbers, FIFA chose to label the groups by letters. So the groups look like this:
Saudi Arabia (67)
Costa Rica (25)
South Korea (61)
Each nation plays the other three teams in their group one time. From these three matches, the top two teams are determined from each group. Only these two teams advance in the world Cup tournament to the Round of 16.
Scoring is performed as with most FIFA leagues and tournaments. 3 points for a win. 1 point for a draw. 0 points for a loss. The top two teams in each group with the most points advance to the next round.
In the event of a tie within the group the following criteria is used:
1st. The highest goal differential
2nd. Total number of goals scored
3rd. Head to head results from the group match
4th. If there is still a tie after these breakers, please do the research yourself and explain it to us. It’s some sort of point system based on yellow and red cards within group play.
Round of 16:
The match-ups in the round of 16 is weighted. The top team from Group A plays the Second place team from Group B. C & D, E & F, and G & H.
The one important point to make here is that the two top teams from each bracket are split up to opposite sides of the tournament bracket structure at this stage. This way the top two teams from any group will not play each other again until the final.
So one side of the bracket will now look like A1 versus B2, C1 versus D2, E1 versus F2, and G1 versus H2.
Once the Round of 16 is set, the World Cup follows a very basic tournament format with Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and the Final.
From the round of 16 moving forward the tournament is a single elimination loser out structure. In the event of a draw, the teams go to two 15 minute extra time periods. If the match is still tied then the match is determined from Kicks from the Spot.
VAR - Video Assistant Referee will be used in this World Cup only in the following situations: Goals, Penalty Decisions, Direct Red Cards, and in cases of mistaken identity.