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Tiebreaker Procedure for FIFA World Cup Group Stage




World Cup Group Stage

The world cup group stage is made up of 32 teams that are broken up into 8 pools of 4 teams. Each team will play every other team in their pool 1 time, for a total of 3 matches each. At the end of pool play, the top 2 teams from each Group advance to the World Cup Tournament.


Rankings and Tiebreakers after Group Play

The rankings are not determined by record, but instead teams are awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. The top two teams are determined by the following:

1. Greatest number of points obtained in all of the group matches

2. Goal Difference in all of the group matches

3. Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches


When looking at the steps above, if the total number of points does not determine the top two, it then moves to step 2, then step 3. If after step 3, two or more teams are still tied, the tiebreaker steps below are used. The steps below are considered head-to-head tiebreakers.


4. Points obtained in the group matches between teams concerned

5. Goal Difference from group matches between teams concerned

6. Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between teams concerned

7. The total points have deductions based on Yellow and Red cards as follows:

A) First Yellow Card: Minus 1 Point

B) Second Yellow Card(Indirect Red): Minus 3 Points

C) Direct Red Card: Minus 4 Points

D) Yellow Card and Direct Red: Min 5 Points

8. Drawing of Lots


What is Drawing of Lots

If none of the criteria above breaks the tie, the FIFA Committee moves on to the last resort.....The Drawing of Lots. This is, in other words, a coin flip, but instead of a coin the committee takes balls and places a team name in each ball and places the balls in a bowl. The first team drawn would be the winner from the group of tied.