Football Language: To be seeded
It’s World Cup qualifying at the moment around the World and the word ‘seed‘ crops up in lots of articles about football competitions like the World Cup and the Champions League. A ‘seed‘ in football is a team that has been chosen as a strong team that has preferential treatment when deciding a group for example. When using the phrase it is often used as a verb, in the passive, be seeded. So for example, at the last World Cup, there were eight teams that were seeded based on the FIFA rankings, including Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland etc. These ‘seeds‘, seeded teams, could not be put in the same group. Obviously being a seeded team is a big advantage, as they avoid other strong teams.
Example: ‘The draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups takes place in St Petersburg at teatime on Saturday, with Wales joining England among the nine seeded teams from Europe.’ (Guardian.co.uk, 24h July 2015).