Soccer

Wales, Romania among top nine European seeds for World Cup draw

The FIFA World Cup trophy stands on a podium at a hall close to the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in St. Petersburg on July 24, 2015 on the eve of the Preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The trophy created by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga for the 1974 World Cup, measures 36cm in height, is made out of 18-carat gold and weighs 6175g. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

The FIFA World Cup trophy stands on a podium at a hall close to the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in St. Petersburg on July 24, 2015 on the eve of the Preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The trophy created by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga for the 1974 World Cup, measures 36cm in height, is made out of 18-carat gold and weighs 6175g. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- European teams in the World Cup draw will be seeded according to the latest world rankings.

FIFA's decision Friday means Romania and Wales are among the nine top-seeded nations despite not playing at a World Cup since 1998 and 1958, respectively.

Former World Cup winners Italy and France are in the pot of second-seeded teams who risk being drawn with either Germany or Spain, the past two winners.

More from FoxSports

Only the nine group winners will automatically advance to the tournament in Russia. The eight best runners-up go to a playoff round to decide the final four qualifying slots.

FIFA says Armenia and Azerbaijan will again be separated in Saturday's draw for political reasons.