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For the draw, the teams were allocated to four pots based on the FIFA World Rankings of October 2017.
Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia (who were automatically assigned to position A1) and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and 4.
The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots.
The finals involved 32 teams, of which 31 came through qualifying competitions, while the host nation qualified automatically.
Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the last tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.
From the preliminary squad, the team had to name a final squad of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers) by 4 June.
Players in the final squad may be replaced for serious injury up to 24 hours prior to kickoff of the team's first match and such replacements do not need to have been named in the preliminary squad.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the 21st FIFA World Cup, an international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of the member associations of FIFA once every four years.