Japan to be placed in lowest-level pot for World Cup draw


Japan will be among the lowest-tier of teams in the draw for next June’s World Cup finals after Senegal claimed a berth in the tournament on Friday.

The 32 teams in the finals will be allotted into four pots of eight according to their ranking in descending order. The draw will take place on Dec. 1 in Moscow.

Japan, ranked 44th in the FIFA rankings, failed to secure a spot in Pot 3, after 32nd-ranked Senegal beat South Africa 2-0 in the qualifiers to earn a berth for the first time since 2002.

Japan was included in Pot 3 four years ago in the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when a different system for allocating teams to pots was in place.

This time, however, Japan will play its group-stage games against teams selected from the top three pots.

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