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Oct 4, 2013

FIFA sets 2014 seeding parameters

ZURICH -- FIFA says the top seeds in the 2014 World Cup groups will be host Brazil and the seven best-ranked teams in the October standings.

Brazil and the seven best-ranked teams will be the top seeds at the 2014 World Cup.

Friday's decision by FIFA's executive committee means Belgium and Colombia -- which did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup -- are almost assured of being seeded in the Dec. 6 draw. It also means that England are set to drop out of the seeds for this tournament.

The current top seven teams are Spain, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay. Brazil is ranked No. 8.

The other draw pots will be determined by "geographic and sports criteria."

FIFA originally planned to agree on a seeding method just before the draw in Salvador de Bahia.

But it has opted for a simple reference to its world rankings rather than also weigh teams' performances at previous World Cups.

The next rankings are published on Oct. 17.

As for construction progress in Brazil, The stadium that will host the World Cup opener in Sao Paulo just had goalposts installed. Organizers in the city of Cuiaba are still trying to find a supplier for the seats for their venue.

With less than three months to go before the December deadline established by FIFA for the delivery of the 12 World Cup stadiums, Brazil is working to have all venues ready in time. Local organizers say they'll meet it, but some recent setbacks have prompted concern.

Of the six stadiums yet to be delivered, five were less than 90 percent completed by September, according to the most recent government numbers. The other six venues were ready before this year's Confederations Cup -- just barely.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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