Rethinking the FIFA World Cup Final Draw

36 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2014 Last revised: 14 Dec 2014

Date Written: December 12, 2014


In this article, we investigate a number of flaws in the current procedure for the final draw of the FIFA World Cup. We explain how we can enforce the geographic constraints that FIFA puts on the draw without sacrificing group balancedness. As a result, we suggest three new tractable draw procedures that are fair to all teams, produce balanced and geographically diverse groups, and, for the last two, give equally likely outcomes.

Keywords: FIFA World Cup, draw procedure, geographic constraints, fairness, balancedness, uniform distribution

Suggested Citation

Guyon, Julien, Rethinking the FIFA World Cup Final Draw (December 12, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Julien Guyon (Contact Author)

Ecole des Ponts ParisTech ( email )


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