World Cup draws and probabilities

How do constraints affect the chance teams will face each other?

The televised World Cup draw selected groups for the men’s football competition. There are three good properties for a drawing system to have:

  • Balance: the groups should be at a similar competitive level.
  • Uniformity: the probability of each valid outcome should be the same.



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Anthony B. Masters

This blog looks at the use of statistics in Britain and beyond. It is written by RSS Statistical Ambassador and Chartered Statistician @anthonybmasters.