WITH the World Cup qualifiers now complete, all eyes will be on the Brazilian state of Bahia when the draw for next year's football carnival is made on December 6.
But I am still coming to terms with the way the FIFA ranking works, which ultimately affects who the Socceroos will play in next year's finals.
I still cannot understand how Switzerland, which qualified from what could only be described as an easy group, could be placed in the top-eight seeds ahead of Netherlands (World Cup runners-up four years ago), or Italy which was a finalist at last year's European Championships.
I also can't work out how Uruguay, which finished fifth in the South American qualifying group and was the last team to make the final 32 after a playoff win against Jordan, somehow manages to make it into the top eight seeds.
FIFA must look at its rankings, and quick, otherwise teams which do qualify well will not be rewarded at the final tournament.
The world governing body has not yet confirmed the process that will decide the grouping but based on previous draws it looks like there will be one pot of seeds consisting of host Brazil and the seven highest-seeded nations, (based on October's FIFA rankings) and three pots of teams based on the geography of countries.
The seven other teams in the top eight rankings are Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland, and Uruguay.
The Socceroos will have one of those teams in its group when the draw is complete.
They will also have to play one of Europe's top teams which are all in another pot and includes the likes of England, the Netherlands and a country from South America or Africa, or France, which will be placed separately and drawn into a group headed by a South American team (this is to avoid having three European teams in one group).
Australia was the second country to book its place for next year's tournament, (after Japan and discounting hosts Brazil), but goes into the draw as the second-lowest ranked nation to have qualified.
A potential "Group of Death" could mean Ange Postecoglou's men face the likes of Brazil, Netherlands and Chile, while a more favourable draw would see the Socceroos line up against Switzerland, Cameroon and Algeria.
Whichever way the draw goes, Postecoglou would know he has a lot of work to do come next year's tournament.
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