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2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

The draw for the main sections of qualifying takes place on Saturday, July 25, 2015.


13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018...

 By Nick Miller

World Cup qualifying draw for Russia 2018 yields mouthwatering matchups

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Steve Nicol break down Scotland's World Cup qualifying group, where they'll meet an old frenemy in England.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Alejandro Moreno break down the CONCACAF and UEFA World Cup qualifying draws.

With FIFA's World Cup qualifying draw now firmly in the books, Nick Miller analyses the biggest early storylines on the three-year march toward Russia.

Is an 'easy' group good for England?

The last time England were involved in a draw for an international competition, FA chairman Greg Dyke drew a finger across his throat to signify that he wasn't, to say the least, too happy with how tough it would be. Not this time, though, with England getting just about the perfect draw, against a selection...

 By PA Sport

Segun Odegbami of Nigeria reveals interest in FIFA presidential run

Segun Odegbami says he sees himself fitting into the role of FIFA president.

Former Nigeria international Segun Odegbami has announced his interest in running for the FIFA presidency.

He said in a statement: "The current scandal at FIFA is the organisation's worst crisis in its 111 years of existence.

"Moving forward, FIFA thus requires a new era of leadership that can restore the dignity of the noble sport.

"The world is very interested in who becomes the next president of FIFA, considering the present images and state of this institution.

"I see myself fitting into this...