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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup - who has qualified for the finals and who can get there

Eight down, 24 to go on the Road to Russia 2018.

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup, which began on March 12, 2015, is reaching its climax. 

So far, eight nations have booked their place to join host nation Russia in next year's tournament.

Qualified nations: Russia (hosts), Belgium, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea.

EUROPE (UEFA; 13 PLACES)

• European qualifying home page

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

Russia qualify as hosts. Group...

Senegal's Sadio Mane backs FIFA decision to replay South Africa clash

Sadio Mane reveals his inspirations from the Senegalese national teams of the past.
Liverpool's Sadio Mane wants to send good wishes to Manchester City's Ederson but believes his tackle was a yellow card.

LIVERPOOL, England -- Sadio Mane has told ESPN FC that he backs FIFA's decision to restage Senegal's World Cup qualifier against South Africa after the referee in charge of the game was found guilty of match-fixing during last November's fixture in Polokwane.

FIFA has ordered the game, which ended in a 2-1 win for South Africa, to be played again in November after Ghanaian referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey was banned for life after being found guilty of influencing the result of the match.

Lamptey...

Burkina Faso challenge FIFA's order to replay South Africa-Senegal game

Joseph Lamptey
Joseph Lamptey was banned for life for his actions in the

The Burkina Faso Football Federation has challenged FIFA's ruling to replay a World Cup qualifying game because the referee was corrupt.

Burkina Faso filed an appeal against a November replay of South Africa's 2-1 win over Senegal last year, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Tuesday.

The federation called the ruling "abuse of power" by a FIFA World Cup organising committee panel.

FIFA had never before ordered a game to be played again because of match-fixing. Its investigation found that...

Schalke's Amine Harit switches from France to Morocco

Amine Harit has made a positive start to life at Schalke.

Schalke winger Amine Harit has switched his international allegiance from France to Morocco.

Harit, 20, was born in France and has represented the country at youth level but explained in a Facebook video why he had now opted to play for the country of his parents' birth.

In the video, posted with the words "My choice, my country," he said: "It's not a decision that came about in the last week or two, it's one that I have thought about deeply over a year or a year-and-a-half now. It wasn't an easy...

South Africa feel FIFA-mandated replay vs. Senegal unfair, may appeal

Lamptey corrupt FIFA official
Referee Joseph Lamptey, left, has been banned for life by FIFA for his role in a match-fixing scandal.

SOMERSET WEST, South Africa -- FIFA's decision to order a World Cup qualifier to be replayed because of match-fixing by a crooked referee is unprecedented and unfair, according to the country stripped of a vital victory despite playing no role in the wrongdoing.

The South African Football Association said on Thursday it was considering appealing FIFA's order that the 2-1 win over Senegal last November would be annulled and the game replayed because Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey was found guilty...