2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

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2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Dates 12 March 2015 – November 2017
Teams 208 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 74
Goals scored 216 (2.92 per match)
Top scorer(s) India Sunil Chhetri
(4 goals)
2014
2022

The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification process will decide 31 of the 32 teams which will play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with the hosts Russia qualifying automatically. All 208 remaining FIFA member associations are eligible to enter the qualifying process. For the first time in World Cup history, all national teams registered for the preliminary competition.[1] Not all may compete, as Zimbabwe were expelled from the competition on 12 March 2015 due to their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee,[2] a decision that the Zimbabwe Football Association said they would appeal,[3] while Indonesia were excluded from the qualifying competition following the suspension of their football association by FIFA on 30 May 2015.[4] Bhutan have made their FIFA World Cup qualification debut and they will be joined by South Sudan once that nation plays its first match.[5]

While the main qualifying draw took place at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg on 25 July 2015,[6][7] a number of qualification matches have been played before that.[8] The first began in Dili, Timor-Leste on 12 March as part of the AFC's qualification,[9] with Timorese player Chiquito do Carmo scoring the first goal of qualification. Matches have also been played in CONCACAF prior to the main draw.

Qualified teams[edit]

  Country qualified for World Cup
  Country may qualify
  Country failed to qualify with games still to play
  Country failed to qualify
  Country expelled from the tournament by FIFA prior to playing a match
  Country not a FIFA member
Team Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Previous best
performance
 Russia Host 2 December 2010 11th[USSR 1] 2014 Fourth place (1966)[USSR 2]
Notes
  1. ^ This is the 4th appearance of Russia at the FIFA World Cup. However FIFA considers Russia as the successor team of the Soviet Union who themselves qualified on 7 occasions.
  2. ^ Russia's best result is group stage in 1994, 2002 and 2014. However FIFA considers Russia as the successor team of the Soviet Union who achieved this result.

Qualification process[edit]

The number of teams participating in the final tournament is 32. Even though the qualification process began in March 2015, the allocation of slots for each confederation was discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee on 30 May 2015 in Zürich after the FIFA Congress.[10] It was decided that the same allocation as 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.[11]

Summary of qualification[edit]

World Map FIFA2.svg
Confederation Teams started Teams that have qualified Teams that can still qualify Teams that have been eliminated Remaining places in finals Total places in finals Next matchday Qualifying end date
AFC 46 0 39 7 4 or 5 4 or 5 3 September 2015 10 October 2017
CAF 54 0 53 1 5 5 5 October 2015 TBD
CONCACAF 35 0 18 17 3 or 4 3 or 4 31 August 2015 10 October 2017
CONMEBOL 10 0 10 0 4 or 5 4 or 5 5 October 2015 10 October 2017
OFC 11 0 11 0 0 or 1 0 or 1 5 October 2015 10 October 2017
UEFA 52+1 0+1 52 0 13 13+1 4 September 2016 14 November 2017
Total 208+1 0+1 183 25 31 31+1 31 August 2015 TBC

Format[edit]

The formats of the qualifying competitions depend on each confederation (see below). Each round may be played in either of the following formats:[12]

  • League format, where more than two teams form groups to play home-and-away round-robin matches, or in exceptions permitted by the FIFA Organizing Committee, single round-robin matches hosted by one of the participating teams or on neutral territory.
  • Knockout format, where two teams play home-and-away two-legged matches.

Tiebreakers[edit]

In home-and-away league format, the ranking of teams in each group is based on the following criteria (regulations Articles 20.6 and 20.7):[12]

  1. Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
  2. Goal difference
  3. Goals scored
  4. Points in matches between tied teams
  5. Goal difference in matches between tied teams
  6. Goals scored in matches between tied teams
  7. Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams)
  8. Play-off match(es) on neutral ground (if approved by FIFA Organizing Committee), with extra time and penalty shoot-out if necessary

If the group is played as a single round-robin hosted by one of the participating teams or on neutral territory, only the first three criteria above are applied. Afterwards, drawing of lots is used to determine the ranking (regulations Article 20.8).[12]

In cases where teams finishing in the same position across different groups are compared for determining which teams advance to the next stage, the criteria is decided by the confederation and require the approval of FIFA (regulations Article 20.9).[12]

In knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. In the event that aggregate scores finish level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time are played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team qualifies by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out (regulations Article 20.10).[12]

Confederation qualification[edit]

AFC[edit]

The AFC Executive Committee meeting on 16 April 2014 approved the proposal to merge the preliminary qualification rounds of the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup, which will be expanded to 24 teams starting in 2019:[13]

  • First round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 35–46) will play home-and-away over two legs. The six winners will advance to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–34 and six first round winners) will be divided into eight groups of five teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up will advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals.
  • Third round: The 12 teams (an increase from 10 for 2014) which advance from the second round will be divided into two groups of six teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the two third-placed teams will advance to the fourth round.
  • Fourth round: The two third-placed teams of each group from the third round will play home-and-away over two legs. The winner will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

A total of 24 teams eliminated from World Cup qualification in the second round will compete in the third round of 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification (which will be separate from the third round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification), where they will be divided into six groups of four teams and compete for the remaining slots of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The 24 teams will consist of the 16 highest ranked teams eliminated in the second round, and the eight teams that advance from the play-off round of 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification which are contested by the remaining 12 teams eliminated in the second round.[14]

Current stage (second round)[edit]

The draw for the second round was held on 14 April 2015, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[15]

Indonesia (PSSI) was suspended on 30 May 2015 for governmental interference.[16] Subsequently, the AFC confirmed that Indonesia have been excluded from the qualifying competition, and all matches involving them have been cancelled.[17]

  Advance to Third round and qualification to Asian Cup
  Advance to Third round and qualification to Asian Cup OR qualification to Asian Cup qualifying third round. The four best runners-up across all groups advance to the third round and Asian Cup. The remaining four runners-up qualifies to the Asian Cup qualifying third round
  Qualification to Asian Cup qualifying third round
  Qualification to Asian Cup qualifying third round OR qualification to Asian Cup qualifying play-off round. The four best fourth-placed teams across all groups advance to the Asian Cup qualifying third round. The remaining four fourth-placed teams qualifies to the Asian Cup qualifying play-off round.
  Qualification to Asian Cup qualifying play-off round
  Disqualified due to FIFA suspension
Group A
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Palestine 2 3
2  Saudi Arabia 1 3
3  United Arab Emirates 1 3
4  Timor-Leste 2 1
5  Malaysia 2 1
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group B
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Jordan 1 3
2  Kyrgyzstan 2 3
3  Australia 1 3
4  Tajikistan 2 1
5  Bangladesh 2 1
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group C
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Hong Kong 2 6
2  China PR 1 3
3  Qatar 1 3
4  Maldives 2 0
5  Bhutan 2 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group D
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Guam 2 6
2  Oman 1 3
3  Iran 1 1
4  Turkmenistan 2 1
5  India 2 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group E
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Singapore 2 4
2  Syria 1 3
3  Afghanistan 2 3
4  Japan 1 1
5  Cambodia 2 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group F
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Thailand 2 6
2  Iraq 0 0
3  Vietnam 1 0
4  Chinese Taipei 1 0
5  Indonesia 0 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group G
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  South Korea 1 3
2  Lebanon 2 3
3  Kuwait 1 3
4  Myanmar 2 1
5  Laos 2 1
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Group H
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  North Korea 2 6
2  Philippines 2 6
3  Bahrain 1 0
4  Uzbekistan 1 0
5  Yemen 2 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Ranking of runners-up
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Syria 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 3 Third round and Asian Cup
2  Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1 3
3  Philippines 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
4  China PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5  Iraq 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Asian Cup qualifying third round
6  Oman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7  Kyrgyzstan 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1 0
8  Lebanon 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 June 2015. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: 1) Points from matches against teams ranked first to fourth in the group; 2) Superior goal difference from these matches; 3) Higher number of goals scored in these matches; 4) Play-off

CAF[edit]

The CAF Executive Committee approved the format for the qualifiers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 14 January 2015.[18] However, on 9 July 2015 FIFA officially announced that only three rounds will be played instead of four.[19]

  • First round: A total of 26 teams (teams ranked 28–53) will play home-and-away over two legs. The 13 winners will advance to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–27 and 13 first round winners) will play home-and-away over two legs. The 20 winners will advance to the third round.
  • Third round: The 20 teams which advance from the second round will be divided into five groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Zimbabwe, even though they entered the competition, were expelled on 12 March 2015 due to their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee.[2] Therefore, only 53 African teams were involved in the draw.

Next stage (first round)[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Somalia  Match 1  Niger 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
South Sudan  Match 2  Mauritania 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Gambia  Match 3  Namibia 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
São Tomé and Príncipe  Match 4  Ethiopia 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Chad  Match 5  Sierra Leone 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Comoros  Match 6  Lesotho 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Djibouti  Match 7  Swaziland 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Eritrea  Match 8  Botswana 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Seychelles  Match 9  Burundi 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Liberia  Match 10  Guinea-Bissau 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Central African Republic  Match 11  Madagascar 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Mauritius  Match 12  Kenya 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct
Tanzania  Match 13  Malawi 5–13 Oct 5–13 Oct

CONCACAF[edit]

An amendment to the qualification process for this tournament had been suggested,[20] which would see the first three rounds played as knockout rounds, with both the fourth round and the final round (referred to as 'The Hex') played as group stages. The first round would be played during the FIFA international dates of 23–31 March 2015.[21] CONCACAF announced the full details on 12 January 2015:[22][23]

  • First round: A total of 14 teams (teams ranked 22–35) played home-and-away over two legs. The seven winners advanced to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 20 teams (teams ranked 9–21 and seven first round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The ten winners advanced to the third round.
  • Third round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 7–8 and ten second round winners) will play home-and-away over two legs. The six winners will advance to the fourth round.
  • Fourth round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 1–6 and six third round winners) will be divided into three groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will advance to the fifth round.
  • Fifth round: The six teams which advance from the fourth round will play home-and-away round-robin matches in one single group (often referred to as the "Hexagonal"). The top three teams will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the fourth-placed team will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Next stage (third round)[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Curaçao  Match 1  El Salvador 31 Aug–8 Sep 31 Aug–8 Sep
Canada  Match 2  Belize 4 Sep 8 Sep
Grenada  Match 3  Haiti 4 Sep 8 Sep
Jamaica  Match 4  Nicaragua 31 Aug–8 Sep 31 Aug–8 Sep
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  Match 5  Aruba 31 Aug–8 Sep 31 Aug–8 Sep
Antigua and Barbuda  Match 6  Guatemala 31 Aug–8 Sep 31 Aug–8 Sep

CONMEBOL[edit]

The qualification structure is the same as the previous five editions. The ten teams will play in a league of home-and-away round-robin matches. The top four teams will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the fifth-placed team will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.

Unlike previous qualifying tournaments where the fixtures were pre-determined, the fixtures were decided by a draw held on 25 July 2015, at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[24]

Next stage[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Colombia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup MD11 MD17 MD4 MD16 MD6 MD7 MD13 MD1 MD10
2  Chile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD3 MD15 MD5 MD1 MD17 MD14 MD8 MD10 MD12
3  Paraguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD9 MD7 MD2 MD6 MD13 MD18 MD4 MD11 MD16
4  Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD12 MD13 MD10 MD3 MD1 MD16 MD6 MD17 MD7
5  Brazil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Inter-confederation play-offs MD8 MD18 MD14 MD11 MD15 MD2 MD9 MD4 MD5
6  Ecuador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD14 MD9 MD5 MD18 MD7 MD12 MD2 MD16 MD3
7  Venezuela 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD15 MD6 MD1 MD8 MD10 MD4 MD11 MD13 MD17
8  Bolivia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD5 MD16 MD12 MD14 MD17 MD10 MD3 MD7 MD1
9  Peru 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD18 MD2 MD3 MD9 MD12 MD8 MD5 MD15 MD14
10  Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD2 MD4 MD8 MD15 MD13 MD11 MD9 MD18 MD6
First match(es) will be played on 5 October 2015. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

OFC[edit]

The qualification structure is as follows:[25][19]

  • First round: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga will play a round-robin tournament at a single country. The winner will advance to the second round.
  • Second round (OFC Nations Cup): A total of eight teams (Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Vanuatu, and the first round winner) will play the tournament at a single country. For the group stage, they will be divided into two groups of four teams. The top three teams of each group will advance to the third round of World Cup qualifying. The top two teams of each group will also advance to the knockout stage (semi-finals and final) to decide the 2016 OFC Nations Cup winner which will play in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
  • Third round: The six teams which advance from the second round will be divided into two groups of three teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The two group winners will meet in a two-legged match with the winner advancing to the inter-confederation play-offs in November 2017 where they will play a team from another confederation for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

The OFC have considered different proposals of the qualifying tournament.[26] A previous proposal adopted by the OFC in October 2014 have the eight teams divided into two groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches in the second round, followed by the top two teams of each group advancing to the third round to play in a single group of home-and-away round-robin matches to decide the winner of the 2016 OFC Nations Cup which will both qualify to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.[27] However, it was later reported in April 2015 that the OFC had reversed its decision, and the 2016 OFC Nations Cup will be played as a one-off tournament similar to the 2012 OFC Nations Cup.[28]

Next stage (first round)[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  American Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to 2016 OFC Nations Cup/Second round 4 Sep 2 Sep
2  Cook Islands 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep 31 Aug
3  Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31 Aug
4  Tonga (H) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 Sep
First match(es) will be played on 31 August 2015. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(H) Host.

UEFA[edit]

Russia have qualified automatically as hosts. The qualifying format for the remaining 52 FIFA-affiliated UEFA teams was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 22–23 March 2015 in Vienna.[29][30] The draw for the UEFA zone took place on 25 July 2015 in St. Petersburg.[31][19]

  • First round (group stage): The 52 teams were divided into nine groups (seven groups of six teams and two groups of five teams) to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The winners of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the eight best runners-up will advance to the second round (play-offs).
  • Second round (play-offs): The eight best runners-up from the first round will play home-and-away over two legs. The four winners will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Next stage (first round)[edit]

The draw for the first round was held on 25 July 2015, at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[19]

  Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup
  Possible advancement to Second round (play-offs). The eight best runners-up across all groups will advance to the Second round (play-offs).
Group A
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Netherlands 0 0
2  France 0 0
3  Sweden 0 0
4  Bulgaria 0 0
5  Belarus 0 0
6  Luxembourg 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group B
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Portugal 0 0
2   Switzerland 0 0
3  Hungary 0 0
4  Faroe Islands 0 0
5  Latvia 0 0
6  Andorra 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group C
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Germany 0 0
2  Czech Republic 0 0
3  Northern Ireland 0 0
4  Norway 0 0
5  Azerbaijan 0 0
6  San Marino 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group D
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Wales 0 0
2  Austria 0 0
3  Serbia 0 0
4  Republic of Ireland 0 0
5  Moldova 0 0
6  Georgia 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group E
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Romania 0 0
2  Denmark 0 0
3  Poland 0 0
4  Montenegro 0 0
5  Armenia 0 0
6  Kazakhstan 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group F
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  England 0 0
2  Slovakia 0 0
3  Scotland 0 0
4  Slovenia 0 0
5  Lithuania 0 0
6  Malta 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group G
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Spain 0 0
2  Italy 0 0
3  Albania 0 0
4  Israel 0 0
5  Macedonia 0 0
6  Liechtenstein 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group H
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Belgium 0 0
2  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0
3  Greece 0 0
4  Estonia 0 0
5  Cyprus 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Group I
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Croatia 0 0
2  Iceland 0 0
3  Ukraine 0 0
4  Turkey 0 0
5  Finland 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Ranking of runners-up
Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 A Runners-up Group A 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to Second round (play-offs)
2 B Runners-up Group B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 C Runners-up Group C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 D Runners-up Group D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 E Runners-up Group E 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 F Runners-up Group F 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 G Runners-up Group G 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 H Runners-up Group H 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 I Runners-up Group I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: 1) Points from matches against teams ranked first to fifth in the group; 2) Superior goal difference from these matches; 3) Higher number of goals scored in these matches.[citation needed]

Inter-confederation play-offs[edit]

The inter-confederation play-offs are scheduled to be played between 6–14 November 2017.[32]

The matchups were decided at the preliminary draw which was held on 25 July 2015, at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[19]

CONCACAF v AFC[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
CONCACAF 4th place Play-off 1 AFC 5th place 6–14 Nov '17 6–14 Nov '17

OFC v CONMEBOL[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
OFC 1st place Play-off 2 CONMEBOL 5th place 6–14 Nov '17 6–14 Nov '17

Top goalscorers[edit]

Note: Players in bold are still active in the competition.

4 goals
3 goals
2 goals

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Road to Russia with new milestone". FIFA.com. 15 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Zimbabwe expelled from the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia". FIFA.com. 12 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Zimbabwe expelled from 2018 World Cup". BBC Sport. 12 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Impact of Football Association of Indonesia suspension". AFC. 3 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Modest Bhutan begin World Cup adventure". FIFA.com. 11 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup extends its responsibilities to cover 2018 and 2022". FIFA.com. 19 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Konstantinovsky Palace to stage Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup". FIFA.com. 10 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Ethics: Executive Committee unanimously supports recommendation to publish report on 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process". FIFA.com. 19 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Long road to Russia begins in Dili". FIFA.com. 11 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "2022 FIFA World Cup to be played in November/December". FIFA.com. 20 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com. 
  13. ^ "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "World Cup draw looms large in Asia". FIFA.com. 13 April 2015. Completing the tournament's qualifying contenders will be the next 16 highest ranked teams, with the remaining 12 sides battling it out in play-off matches to claim the last eight spots. 
  15. ^ "Draw: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Preliminary Qualification Round 2". AFC. 15 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Impact of Football Association of Indonesia suspension". AFC. 3 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "FORMAT OF 2017 AFCON QUALIFIERS AND 2018 WORLD CUP". CAFonline.com. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "Preliminary Draw procedures outlined". fifa.com. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Concacaf estrenará formato de eliminatoria; sigue el Hexagonal" [New format for Concacaf qualification - Hexagonal retained] (in Spanish). ESPN Mexico. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Canada begins 2018 World Cup qualification in June". Sportsnet. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "CONCACAF to Hold Preliminary FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw in Miami on January 15". CONCACAF. 12 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "USMNT to start 2018 World Cup qualifying in November of 2014". Sports Illustrated. 12 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "A unanimous decision: A draw will determine the classifications for the World Cup and CONMEBOL Tournaments". CONMEBOL.com. 23 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Preliminary competition format outlined". Oceania Football Confederation. July 10, 2015. 
  26. ^ "OFC Executive Committee decisions". OFC. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "OFC Executive Committee outcomes". Oceania Football Confederation. October 20, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Football: Heat goes on NZ after switch". New Zealand Herald. 12 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "Executive Committee date in Vienna". UEFA.org. 21 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "New distribution concept for club competitions approved". UEFA.org. 23 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "UEFA 2018 Qualifying Format". ESPN.co.uk. 23 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "FIFA Calendar". FIFA.com. 

External links[edit]