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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...

 By Tom Marshall

Giovani Dos Santos not ready to return for Mexico - Juan Carlos Osorio

LA Galaxy midfielder Giovani Dos Santos opens up about his first season with the MLS and his position with El Tri.

Giovani dos Santos' return to Mexico's national team will have to wait.

The 26-year-old LA Galaxy player last featured for El Tri in July in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but he is unlikely to be called up for the friendly on Feb. 10 against Senegal.

"Giovani dos Santos told me that he isn't physically right and isn't ready for this call-up," Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said in a press conference on Tuesday.

"I spoke to Giovani dos Santos and stressed he [should] get back on form as soon as possible...

CONCACAF calls for term limits, independent members

UEFA have said they won't hold a presidential election until Platini's appeal against his eight-year ban is complete.
FIFA Presidential Debate
FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino expressed his confidence ahead of next month's election.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football will consider a reform package when it holds an extraordinary congress in Zurich on Feb. 25.

CONCACAF said Monday the proposals include:

-- Replacing its executive committee with a council of up to 15 members, including three who are required to be independent.

-- Creation of audit and compliance committee that includes only independent members.

-- A requirement that governance and finance committees...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Nick DeLeon ready to pick between Trinidad and Tobago, United States

Nick DeLeon discusses his recent injury concerns, DC United's keys to improve and more ahead of the 2015/16 MLS season.

D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon has opened the door to representing Trinidad and Tobago, confirming that he'll make the call on his international allegiance in the coming months.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, the 25-year-old is eligible to play for the Caribbean nation through his father -- T&T international and former NASL player Leroy DeLeon.

DeLeon has declined two previous call ups from T&T, but now says that the pull of international football is too good to turn down.

"I have been approached...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Abby Wambach would fire U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, blasts 'foreign guys'

ESPN FC's Julie Foudy talks about Abby Wambach's controversial comments about Jurgen Klinsmann and foreign players on the national team.
Julie Foudy reflects on Abby Wambach's historic 14-year career and her impact on women's soccer.
United States forward Abby Wambach says her farewell game against China will be a celebration of her career.
Abby Wambach is slated to play her last game for the United States Women's National Team tomorrow against China, effectively ending her professional career.

On the day of her farewell game, United States women's national team star Abby Wambach called for U.S. men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann to be fired and blasted him for bringing in "a bunch of these foreign guys."

The sport's top international goal scorer -- male or female -- made her comments on a Bill Simmons podcast published on Wednesday, adding that there are "too many egos in our men's program."

The 35-year-old Wambach, who helped the U.S. women to victory at the Women's World Cup this past summer,...