The draw for the 2014 World Cup was made by FIFA based on the FIFA rankings to make up the following groups in Europe:
Group AGroup B
Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, Macedonia, Wales
Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia, Malta
Germany, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan
Netherlands, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Andorra
Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland
Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg
Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia, Liechtenstein
England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, San Marino
Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia, Finland
The above groups were created by placing teams into pots according to the FIFA rankings and drawing one from each pot to create a group.
Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Greece.
Pot 2: France, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia.
Pot 3: Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary.
Pot 4: Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, Albania, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Poland.
Pot 5: Armenia, Finland, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands.
Pot 6: Wales, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino.
Based on the Ziaian ranking system the pots would have taken a different look, resulting in a different outcome.
Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, France, England, Croatia.
Pot 2: Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic.
Pot 3: Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Israel, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Hungary.
Pot 4: Scotland, Belarus, Slovakia, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Austria, Northern Ireland, Finland.
Pot 5: Armenia, Estonia, Wales, Macedonia, Latvia, Cyprus, Albania, Moldova, Iceland.
Pot 6: Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino.
The first name out of the hat was Wales, or team one from pot 6, which would have been Azerbaijan. Following the rest of the procedure in the same vein would create the following groups:
Group AGroup B
France, Russia, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Azerbaijan
Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Scotland, Armenia, Malta
Germany, Norway, Romania; Northern Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands
Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, Belarus, Wales, Andorra
England, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kazakhstan
Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Moldova, Luxembourg
Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Georgia, Latvia, Liechtenstein
Portugal, Denmark, Montenegro, Finland, Cyprus, San Marino
Spain, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia
This would have produced a much fairer draw with more balanced groups.