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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...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA fines Mexico for 'homophobic chants' from fans

FIFA has sanctioned Mexico for offensive chants from fans in the stands during matches.

The Mexican Football Federation has lost its appeal before FIFA of the fine and warning it received for what the organisation deemed "homophobic chants from supporters."

FIFA also fined Croatia and ordered them to play two World Cup qualifying matches in empty stadiums for repeated cases of fans chanting fascist slogans.

In January, Mexico appealed the sanction for fans' actions during El Tri's 3-0 victory over El Salvador in World Cup qualifying in Estadio Azteca on Nov. 13 last year. Argentina,...

Dick Advocaat named as assistant to Netherlands coach Danny Blind

Dick Advocaat resigned as Sunderland boss in October.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Veteran coach Dick Advocaat has been appointed as assistant to Danny Blind ahead of Netherlands' tough qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Dutch football association announced 68-year-old Advocaat's appointment late on Saturday, saying he will join the squad for a training camp in Portugal next Sunday as it prepares for friendlies against Republic of Ireland, Poland and Austria.

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Kosovo and Gibraltar join FIFA ahead of 2018 World Cup qualifying

FIFA also added two member associations to its ranks on Friday: Kosovo and Gibraltar.

They become the 210th and 211th members of the football family and can start their preparations for the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament.

The huge majorities they received for their inclusion -- 86 percent and 93 percent respectively -- represent huge victories for the pair, particularly given the strong opposition they have faced from more powerful neighbours.

Spain has strongly opposed Gibraltar's progress...

 By PA Sport

CAS orders FIFA to admit Gibraltar as member

The CAS said its panel of judges could not directly grant FIFA membership to Gibraltar.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has told FIFA to transmit Gibraltar's application to become a full member to the FIFA Congress "without delay," opening the national team's path to play in the 2018 World Cup qualifying program.

The British Overseas Territory became a UEFA member in May 2013 but the Gibraltar Football Association was informed in September 2014 that it did not meet the requirements for admission to FIFA.

An appeal against the world governing body's decision has now been partially...