01-Dec-2017 14:13:13 | The Guardian
Update: Diego Maradona has located a razor. And a suit. And a comedy bow tie.
The pots in full:
Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France.Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia.Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran.Pot 4: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia.
1⃣ HOUR TO GO! The #WorldCupDraw excitement is really kicking in now, with the State Kremlin Palace filling up! Tell us what you think the toughest group would be! pic.twitter.com/ELvIr2ER6V
The red carpet is open, and the big names have started to arrive.
Latest pictures from inside the green room reveal scandal of Russia’s missing razors:
With Maradona, one of football’s greatest legends. I enjoyed our chat about our shared passion for this incredible sport. Interesting and funny! Such a shame I couldn’t play with you on the football field! pic.twitter.com/LbbO8BodqK
A remarkable statistic: there were a total of 871 matches played in 2018 World Cup qualifying, which works out as 54 days, 10 hours and 30 minutes of qualifying football. Plus stoppages.
You may have missed the unveiling of the new Man of the Match trophy, which took place at the State Kremlin Palace yesterday. “The trophy is awarded to the best football player of each match, who will be selected by fans around the world,” Fifa declared. “Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are among the high-profile players to have been named Man of the Match in previous Fifa World Cups.” Fifa promised that “a football legend” would be on hand for the unveiling and they were as good as their word, wheeling out none other than David Seaman:
And so the day has dawned, when the World Cup ceases to me a notional event involving unknown fixtures scheduled in the distant future and becomes an actual event involving known fixtures scheduled in the distant future. Exciting times. Here’s a run-through of today’s schedule (all times GMT):
11am: Coaches and official delegations attend team seminar to “learn about the key operational aspects” of the World Cup.1pm: Red carpet opens outside Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace. Famous people start arriving3pm: Final Draw Show starts4pm: Final Draw Show ends. Approximately 50% of the Final Draw Show will be taken up by the actual Final Draw.
Related: Russia 2018: World Cup mascot Zabivaka the wolf unveiled in Moscow