Soccer: FIFA confirm Italy will be unseeded at World Cup
Dutch will take last place if Uruguay fail to qualify17 October, 15:15
The Azzurri dropped from fourth to joint-eighth alongside the Netherlands in FIFA's world ranking after being held 2-2 in their last two World Cup qualifiers, against Denmark on Friday and Armenia on Tuesday.
The seeded teams will be hosts Brazil and the seven highest-ranked qualified teams.
All of the top seven have qualified for the World Cup except Uruguay, who face an intercontinental play-off against Jordan.
But FIFA said Thursday that Italy will not be seeded even if Uruguay fail to qualify because in this case the decimal points difference in the rankings between the Netherlands (1135.95) and Italy (1135.61) will see the Dutch take the last place in pot one of the World Cup draw. Not being seeded means Cesare Prandelli's men have a higher chance of being pitched against another top national team in the group stage of next year's tournament in Brazil.
But Prandelli is philosophical about it. "The seeding is primarily a question of prestige," Prandelli told ANSA. "I'm not scared about the risk of meeting Brazil or Spain straight away (in the group stage). "Look at how it went at Euro 2012," added the coach, whose side reached the final of last year's tournament after being drawn in the same group as world and European champions Spain.
"It's almost better like that. If we want to aim high, I prefer humility and concentration". The seeded teams will be Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Switzerland, Colombia and, if they qualify, Uruguay.