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Queiroz resigns again as Iran coach

Iran
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

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.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

 By John Duerden

Carlos Queiroz opens up on Iran, World Cup qualifiers and Branko Ivankovic

Carlos Quieroz
Carlos Queiroz resigned from the Iran national team manager's job on Saturday.

Iran have been the top-ranked Asian nation, according to FIFA, for four years. They were unbeaten in 2016 and sit on top of Group A in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup, well-placed to secure back-to-back finals places for the first time.

But coach Carlos Queiroz has just resigned and the situation surrounding the national team is febrile. Not for the first time, in either case. This is different, however, insists the coach who took the job in 2011.

The former Real...

Asia 'deserves' more spots in expanded World Cup - AFC president Khalifa

Gab Marcotti joins Outside the Lines to discuss the reasons behind moving the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.
Shaka Hislop expresses his disapproval at FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams.
Gab Marcotti explains why FIFA's decision to expand the World Cup to 48 teams has its benefits, but not everyone agrees.

An expanded World Cup will benefit Asian nations, according to Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the president of the Asian Football Confederation.

The FIFA council meeting decided on Tuesday to increase the number of participating teams from 32 to 48 for the 2026 World Cup onwards.

The 2014 edition in Brazil had only four of the 32 nations from the AFC -- Japan, South Korea, Iran and Australia.

"We believe that Asia, as the biggest continent, deserves more slots compared with the current quota,...