2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

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2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Dates 12 March 2015 – 14 November 2017
Teams 210 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 351
Goals scored 1047 (2.98 per match)
Top scorer(s) Saudi Arabia Mohammad Al-Sahlawi (14 goals)
2014
2022
All statistics correct as of 11 June 2016
(including any matches not played but awarded).

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 210 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] although suspensions excluded some teams from participating in qualification.[2][3] Bhutan and South Sudan made their FIFA World Cup qualification debuts,[4][5] and Gibraltar and Kosovo are scheduled to make their debuts when European qualifying commences.[6][7][8]

While the main qualifying draw took place at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg on 25 July 2015,[9][10] a number of qualification matches were played before that.[11] The first began in Dili, Timor-Leste on 12 March as part of the AFC's qualification,[12] with East Timorese player Chiquito do Carmo scoring the first goal of qualification. Matches were also played in CONCACAF prior to the main draw.

Qualified teams[edit]

  Team qualified for World Cup
  Team may qualify for World Cup
  Team failed to qualify for World Cup, but has matches left to play
  Team failed to qualify for World Cup, and all matches have been played
  Team 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
Consecutive
finals
appearances
Previous best
performance
 Russia Host 2 December 2010 11th[USSR 1] 2014 2 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.[13] It was decided that the same allocation as 2014 would be kept for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.[14]

Summary of qualification[edit]

While all FIFA members entered the tournament, not all competed. Zimbabwe were expelled from the competition on 12 March 2015 for their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee and Indonesia were excluded from the qualifying competition following the suspension of their football association by FIFA on 30 May 2015.[3] Kuwait had a number of their qualifiers cancelled for a similar suspension that began while their campaign was underway,[15] which eventually resulted in their elimination.

Updated as of all matches played on 11 June 2016
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 Inter-Confederation Play-offs
AFC 46 0 12 34 4 or 5 4 or 5 1 September 2016 10 October 2017 14 November 2017
CAF 54 0 20 34 5 5 3 October 2016 14 November 2017 -
CONCACAF 35 0 11 24 3 or 4 3 or 4 2 September 2016 10 October 2017 14 November 2017
CONMEBOL 10 0 10 0 4 or 5 4 or 5 1 September 2016 10 October 2017 14 November 2017
OFC 11 0 6 5 0 or 1 0 or 1 7 November 2016 5 September 2017 14 November 2017
UEFA 54+1 0+1 54 0 13 13+1 4 September 2016 14 November 2017 -
Total 210+1 0+1 113 97 31 31+1 1 September 2016 14 November 2017 14 November 2017

Note: One team each from AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, and OFC will play in the inter-confederation play-offs, scheduled for 6–14 November 2017.

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:[16]

  • 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):[16]

  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).[16]

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).[16]

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).[16]

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:[17]

  • First round: A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 35–46) played home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advanced to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–34 and six first round winners) were 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.[18]

Most recent 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.[19]

Indonesia (PSSI) was suspended on 30 May 2015 for governmental interference.[20] Subsequently, the AFC confirmed that Indonesia have been excluded from the qualifying competition, and all matches involving them have been cancelled.[21] Since this results in teams from other groups playing more matches, it was determined that the results from the matches against the last-placed team in each group would be disregarded when ranking the second-placed teams.

  Advance to Third round and qualification to Asian Cup
  Qualification to Asian Cup qualifying third round
  Qualification to Asian Cup qualifying play-off round
  Disqualified by FIFA suspension
Group A Group B Group C
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Saudi Arabia 8 20
2  United Arab Emirates 8 17
3  Palestine 8 12
4  Malaysia 8 4
5  Timor-Leste 8 2
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Australia 8 21
2  Jordan 8 16
3  Kyrgyzstan 8 14
4  Tajikistan 8 5
5  Bangladesh 8 1
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Qatar 8 21
2  China PR 8 17
3  Hong Kong 8 14
4  Maldives 8 6
5  Bhutan 8 0
Source: FIFA
Group D Group E Group F
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Iran 8 20
2  Oman 8 14
3  Turkmenistan 8 13
4  Guam 8 7
5  India 8 3
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Japan 8 22
2  Syria 8 18
3  Singapore 8 10
4  Afghanistan 8 9
5  Cambodia 8 0
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Thailand 6 14
2  Iraq 6 12
3  Vietnam 6 7
4  Chinese Taipei 6 0
5  Indonesia (D) 0 0
Source: FIFA
(D) Disqualified.
Group G Group H
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  South Korea 8 24
2  Lebanon 8 11
3  Kuwait 8 10
4  Myanmar 8 8
5  Laos 8 4
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Uzbekistan 8 21
2  North Korea 8 16
3  Philippines 8 10
4  Bahrain 8 9
5  Yemen 8 3
Source: FIFA
Ranking of runners-up
Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 F  Iraq 6 3 3 0 13 6 +7 12 Third round and Asian Cup
2 E  Syria 6 4 0 2 14 11 +3 12
3 A  United Arab Emirates 6 3 2 1 16 4 +12 11
4 C  China PR 6 3 2 1 9 1 +8 11
5 H  North Korea 6 3 1 2 10 8 +2 10 Asian Cup qualifying third round
6 B  Jordan 6 3 1 2 9 7 +2 10
7 D  Oman 6 2 2 2 6 6 0 8
8 G  Lebanon 6 1 2 3 3 6 −3 5
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: 1) Points from matches against teams ranked first, third and fourth in the group; 2) Goal difference from these matches; 3) Goals scored in these matches; 4) Play-off

Next stage (third round)[edit]

The draw for the third round was held on 12 April 2016 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[26]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Iran 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 11 Oct '16 13 Jun '17 28 Mar '17 1 Sep '16 5 Sep '17
1  South Korea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31 Aug '17 15 Nov '16 1 Sep '16 6 Oct '16 28 Mar '17
1  Uzbekistan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to fourth round 6 Oct '16 5 Sep '17 11 Oct '16 28 Mar '17 1 Sep '16
1  China PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 Sep '16 23 Mar '17 31 Aug '17 15 Nov '16 6 Oct '16
1  Qatar 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 Mar '17 13 Jun '17 6 Sep '16 5 Sep '17 11 Oct '16
1  Syria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 Nov '16 6 Sep '16 23 Mar '17 13 Jun '17 31 Aug '17
First match(es) will be played on 1 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 11 Oct '16 8 Jun '17 28 Mar '17 1 Sep '16 5 Sep '17
1  Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 31 Aug '17 15 Nov '16 1 Sep '16 6 Oct '16 28 Mar '17
1  Saudi Arabia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to fourth round 6 Oct '16 5 Sep '17 11 Oct '16 28 Mar '17 1 Sep '16
1  United Arab Emirates 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 Sep '16 23 Mar '17 31 Aug '17 15 Nov '16 6 Oct '16
1  Iraq 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 Mar '17 13 Jun '17 6 Sep '16 5 Sep '17 11 Oct '16
1  Thailand 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 Nov '16 6 Sep '16 23 Mar '17 13 Jun '17 31 Aug '17
First match(es) will be played on 1 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

CAF[edit]

The CAF Executive Committee approved the format for the qualifiers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 14 January 2015.[27] However, on 9 July 2015 FIFA officially announced that only three rounds will be played instead of four.[28]

  • First round: A total of 26 teams (teams ranked 28–53) played home-and-away over two legs. The 13 winners advanced to the second round.
  • Second round: A total of 40 teams (teams ranked 1–27 and 13 first round winners) played home-and-away over two legs. The 20 winners advanced 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 for their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee.[2] Therefore, only 53 African teams were involved in the draw.

Most recent stage (second round)[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Niger  0–3  Cameroon 0–3 0–0
Mauritania  2–4  Tunisia 1–2 1–2
Namibia  0–3  Guinea 0–1 0–2
Ethiopia  4–6  Congo 3–4 1–2
Chad  1–4  Egypt 1–0 0–4
Comoros  0–2  Ghana 0–0 0–2
Swaziland  0–2  Nigeria 0–0 0–2
Botswana  2–3  Mali 2–1 0–2
Burundi  2–6  DR Congo 2–3 0–3[note 1]
Liberia  0–4  Ivory Coast 0–1 0–3
Madagascar  2–5  Senegal 2–2 0–3
Kenya  1–2  Cape Verde 1–0 0–2
Tanzania  2–9  Algeria 2–2 0–7
Sudan  0–3  Zambia 0–1 0–2
Libya  4–1  Rwanda 1–0 3–1
Morocco  2–1  Equatorial Guinea 2–0 0–1
Mozambique  1–1 (3–4 p)  Gabon 1–0 0–1 (a.e.t.)
Benin  2–3  Burkina Faso 2–1 0–2
Togo  0–4  Uganda 0–1 0–3
Angola  1–4  South Africa 1–3 0–1
  1. ^ FIFA awarded Congo DR a 3–0 win as a result of Burundi fielding the ineligible player Gaël Bigirimana.[29] The match originally ended 2–2.

Next stage (third round)[edit]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Tunisia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Nov '17 28 Aug '17 3 Oct '16
1  Libya 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Nov '16 2 Oct '17 2 Sep '17
1  DR Congo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep '17 3 Oct '16 6 Nov '17
1  Guinea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Oct '17 28 Aug '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 3 October 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Zambia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Nov '17 28 Aug '17 3 Oct '16
1  Cameroon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Nov '16 2 Oct '17 2 Sep '17
1  Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep '17 3 Oct '16 6 Nov '17
1  Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Oct '17 28 Aug '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 3 October 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Gabon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Nov '17 28 Aug '17 3 Oct '16
1  Mali 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Nov '16 2 Oct '17 2 Sep '17
1  Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep '17 3 Oct '16 6 Nov '17
1  Morocco 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Oct '17 28 Aug '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 3 October 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Senegal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Nov '17 28 Aug '17 3 Oct '16
1  South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Nov '16 2 Oct '17 2 Sep '17
1  Burkina Faso 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep '17 3 Oct '16 6 Nov '17
1  Cape Verde 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Oct '17 28 Aug '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 3 October 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group E

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Ghana 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Nov '17 28 Aug '17 3 Oct '16
1  Egypt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Nov '16 2 Oct '17 2 Sep '17
1  Congo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Sep '17 3 Oct '16 6 Nov '17
1  Uganda 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Oct '17 28 Aug '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 3 October 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

CONCACAF[edit]

An amendment to the qualification process for this tournament had been suggested,[30] 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.[31] CONCACAF announced the full details on 12 January 2015:[32][33]

  • 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) played home-and-away over two legs. The six winners advanced 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.

Current stage (fourth round)[edit]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Mexico (A) 4 4 0 0 10 0 +10 12 Advance to fifth round 6 Sep 2–0 3–0
2  Honduras 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1 4 0–2 2 Sep 2–0
3  Canada 4 1 1 2 1 5 −4 4 0–3 1–0 6 Sep
4  El Salvador 4 0 2 2 2 7 −5 2 2 Sep 2–2 0–0
Updated to match(es) played on 29 March 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(A) Advance to a further round.

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Costa Rica 4 3 1 0 7 2 +5 10 Advance to fifth round 6 Sep 3–0 1–0
2  Panama 4 2 1 1 4 2 +2 7 1–2 2 Sep 1–0
3  Jamaica 4 1 1 2 2 6 −4 4 1–1 0–2 6 Sep
4  Haiti 4 0 1 3 0 3 −3 1 2 Sep 0–0 0–1
Updated to match(es) played on 29 March 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Trinidad and Tobago 4 3 1 0 11 3 +8 10 Advance to fifth round 0–0 2 Sep 6–0
2  United States 4 2 1 1 10 3 +7 7 6 Sep 4–0 6–1
3  Guatemala 4 2 0 2 7 6 +1 6 1–2 2–0 6 Sep
4  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (E) 4 0 0 4 3 19 −16 0 2–3 2 Sep 0–4
Updated to match(es) played on 29 March 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(E) Eliminated.

Next stage (fifth round)[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification C1 B2 A2 B1 C2
1 C1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 6 Oct '17 24 Mar '17 1 Sep '17 11 Nov '16 9 Jun '17
1 B2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 Mar '17 13 Jun '17 10 Oct '17 15 Nov '16 5 Sep '17
1 A2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 Sep '17 11 Nov '16 28 Mar '17 10 Oct '17 15 Nov '16
1 B1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to inter-confederation play-offs 15 Nov '16 9 Jun '17 6 Oct '17 5 Sep '17 13 Jun '17
1  Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 Jun '17 1 Sep '17 9 Jun '17 24 Mar '17 6 Oct '17
1 C2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 Oct '17 24 Mar '17 1 Sep '17 11 Nov '16 28 Mar '17
First match(es) will be played on 11 November 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

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.[34]

Current stage[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Uruguay 6 4 1 1 12 4 +8 13 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup MD11 MD15 3–0 3–0 MD13 MD8 1–0 MD18 MD9
2  Ecuador 6 4 1 1 12 7 +5 13 2–1 MD18 MD9 MD14 MD7 2–2 MD16 2–0 MD12
3  Argentina 6 3 2 1 6 4 +2 11 MD7 0–2 MD13 MD12 1–1 MD10 MD17 2–0 MD16
4  Chile 6 3 1 2 12 10 +2 10 MD12 MD17 1–2 1–1 2–0 MD15 MD10 MD8 MD14
5  Colombia 6 3 1 2 9 8 +1 10 Advance to inter-confederation play-offs MD10 3–1 0–1 MD11 MD16 MD17 2–0 MD13 MD7
6  Brazil 6 2 3 1 11 8 +3 9 2–2 MD15 MD11 MD18 MD8 MD14 3–0 MD9 3–1
7  Paraguay 6 2 3 1 7 6 +1 9 MD16 MD13 0–0 MD7 MD9 2–2 MD11 2–1 MD18
8  Peru 6 1 1 4 6 12 −6 4 MD14 MD8 MD9 3–4 MD18 MD12 1–0 MD15 2–2
9  Bolivia 6 1 0 5 7 13 −6 3 0–2 MD10 MD14 MD16 2–3 MD17 MD12 MD7 4–2
10  Venezuela 6 0 1 5 7 17 −10 1 MD17 1–3 MD8 1–4 MD15 MD10 0–1 MD13 MD11
Updated to match(es) played on 29 March 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

OFC[edit]

The qualification structure is as follows:[35][28]

The OFC have considered different proposals of the qualifying tournament.[36] 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 qualify to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.[37] 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.[38]

Most recent stage (second round)[edit]

Main article: 2016 OFC Nations Cup

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Papua New Guinea (H) 3 1 2 0 11 3 +8 5 Qualification to Nations Cup knockout stage
and World Cup qualifying third round
1–1 2–2 8–0
2  New Caledonia 3 1 2 0 9 2 +7 5 7–0
3  Tahiti 3 1 2 0 7 3 +4 5 Qualification to World Cup qualifying third round 1–1 4–0
4  Samoa 3 0 0 3 0 19 −19 0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(H) Host.

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  New Zealand 3 3 0 0 9 1 +8 9 Qualification to Nations Cup knockout stage
and World Cup qualifying third round
1–0 3–1
2  Solomon Islands 3 1 0 2 1 2 −1 3 0–1
3  Fiji 3 1 0 2 4 6 −2 3 Qualification to World Cup qualifying third round 2–3
4  Vanuatu 3 1 0 2 3 8 −5 3 0–5 0–1
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Next stage (third round)[edit]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to OFC Final match 7 Nov '16 28 Mar '17
1  New Caledonia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 Nov '16 13 Jun '17
1  Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD3 MD5
First match(es) will be played on 7 November 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Papua New Guinea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to OFC Final match 13 Jun '17 MD3
1  Solomon Islands 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 MD5 15 Nov '16
1  Tahiti 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 28 Mar '17 7 Nov '16
First match(es) will be played on 7 November 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Final

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Third round Group A/B winner Third round Group A/B winner TBD TBD

UEFA[edit]

Russia have qualified automatically as hosts. The qualifying format for the remaining FIFA-affiliated UEFA teams was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 22–23 March 2015 in Vienna.[39][40] The draw for the UEFA zone took place on 25 July 2015 in St. Petersburg.[41][28]

  • First round (group stage): The 52 UEFA teams affiliated with FIFA at the time of the draw 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.

With the admission of Gibraltar and Kosovo as FIFA members in May 2016, both national teams were eligible to make their debuts in World Cup qualifying.[42] With two groups of only five teams in the first round, Kosovo was assigned to group I as it was decided that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia should not play against Kosovo for security reasons, and Gibraltar was then added to group H.[7][8]

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.[28]

  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 Group B Group C
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Netherlands 0 0
1  France 0 0
1  Sweden 0 0
1  Bulgaria 0 0
1  Belarus 0 0
1  Luxembourg 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Portugal 0 0
1   Switzerland 0 0
1  Hungary 0 0
1  Faroe Islands 0 0
1  Latvia 0 0
1  Andorra 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Germany 0 0
1  Czech Republic 0 0
1  Northern Ireland 0 0
1  Norway 0 0
1  Azerbaijan 0 0
1  San Marino 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Group D Group E Group F
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Wales 0 0
1  Austria 0 0
1  Serbia 0 0
1  Republic of Ireland 0 0
1  Moldova 0 0
1  Georgia 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Romania 0 0
1  Denmark 0 0
1  Poland 0 0
1  Montenegro 0 0
1  Armenia 0 0
1  Kazakhstan 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  England 0 0
1  Slovakia 0 0
1  Scotland 0 0
1  Slovenia 0 0
1  Lithuania 0 0
1  Malta 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 4 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Group G Group H Group I
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Spain 0 0
1  Italy 0 0
1  Albania 0 0
1  Israel 0 0
1  Macedonia 0 0
1  Liechtenstein 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 5 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Belgium 0 0
1  Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0
1  Greece 0 0
1  Estonia 0 0
1  Cyprus 0 0
1  Gibraltar 0 0
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016.
Source: FIFA
Pos Team Pld Pts
1  Croatia 0 0
1  Iceland 0 0
1  Ukraine 0 0
1  Turkey 0 0
1  Finland 0 0
1  Kosovo 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)
1 B Runners-up Group B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 C Runners-up Group C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 D Runners-up Group D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 E Runners-up Group E 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 F Runners-up Group F 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 G Runners-up Group G 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 H Runners-up Group H 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 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.[43]

Inter-confederation play-offs[edit]

The inter-confederation play-offs are scheduled to be played between 6–14 November 2017.[44]

The matchups were decided at the preliminary draw which was held on 25 July 2015, at the Konstantinovsky Palace in Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia.[28]

CONCACAF v AFC[edit]

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

Top goalscorers[edit]

Updated as of all matches played on 11 June 2016

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

14 goals
11 goals
8 goals
7 goals
6 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. ^ a b "Impact of Football Association of Indonesia suspension". AFC. 3 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Modest Bhutan begin World Cup adventure". FIFA.com. 11 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "South Sudan's World Cup debut ended early by rain". bbc.co.uk. 7 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA.com. 13 May 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Kosovo to play in Group I in European Qualifiers". uefa.org. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 9 June 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Kosovo and Gibraltar assigned to 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying groups". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 9 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup extends its responsibilities to cover 2018 and 2022". FIFA.com. 19 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Konstantinovsky Palace to stage Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup". FIFA.com. 10 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ethics: Executive Committee unanimously supports recommendation to publish report on 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process". FIFA.com. 19 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Long road to Russia begins in Dili". FIFA.com. 11 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "2022 FIFA World Cup to be played in November/December". FIFA.com. 20 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association". FIFA.com. 16 October 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d e "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com. 
  17. ^ "ExCo approves expanded AFC Asian Cup finals". AFC. 16 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ "Draw: Russia 2018 / UAE 2019 Joint Qualification Round 2". AFC. 15 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Current allocation of FIFA World Cup™ confederation slots maintained". FIFA.com. 30 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "Impact of Football Association of Indonesia suspension". AFC. 3 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Suspension of the Kuwait Football Association". FIFA.com. 16 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "FIFA statement on Myanmar-Kuwait qualifier". FIFA.com. 17 November 2015. 
  24. ^ "Kuwait sanctioned after unplayed FIFA World Cup™ qualifier". FIFA. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Kuwait's matches against Laos and Korea Republic forfeited". FIFA.com. 6 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup: Asian Qualifying Round 3 line up complete". Asian Football Confederation. 30 March 2016. 
  27. ^ "FORMAT OF 2017 AFCON QUALIFIERS AND 2018 WORLD CUP". CAFonline.com. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  28. ^ a b c d e "Preliminary Draw procedures outlined". fifa.com. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  29. ^ "DISCIPLINARY OVERVIEW – 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ QUALIFIERS" (PDF). FIFA. 1 February 2016. 
  30. ^ "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. 
  31. ^ "Canada begins 2018 World Cup qualification in June". Sportsnet. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "CONCACAF to Hold Preliminary FIFA World Cup Qualifying Draw in Miami on January 15". CONCACAF. 12 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "USMNT to start 2018 World Cup qualifying in November of 2015". Sports Illustrated. 12 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "A unanimous decision: A draw will determine the classifications for the World Cup and CONMEBOL Tournaments". CONMEBOL.com. 23 January 2015. 
  35. ^ "Preliminary competition format outlined". Oceania Football Confederation. 10 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "OFC Executive Committee decisions". OFC. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "OFC Executive Committee outcomes". Oceania Football Confederation. 20 October 2014. 
  38. ^ "Football: Heat goes on NZ after switch". New Zealand Herald. 12 April 2015. 
  39. ^ "Executive Committee date in Vienna". UEFA.org. 21 March 2015. 
  40. ^ "New distribution concept for club competitions approved". UEFA.org. 23 March 2015. 
  41. ^ "UEFA 2018 Qualifying Format". ESPN.co.uk. 23 March 2015. 
  42. ^ "FIFA Congress drives football forward, first female secretary general appointed". FIFA.com. 13 May 2016. 
  43. ^ "Competition format - FIFA World Cup - News - UEFA.com". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  44. ^ "FIFA Calendar". FIFA.com. 

External links[edit]