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Blatter to stand down from IOC

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English FA backs Platini

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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.

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018...

 By Nick Miller

World Cup qualifying draw for Russia 2018 yields mouthwatering matchups

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Steve Nicol break down Scotland's World Cup qualifying group, where they'll meet an old frenemy in England.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Alejandro Moreno break down the CONCACAF and UEFA World Cup qualifying draws.

With FIFA's World Cup qualifying draw now firmly in the books, Nick Miller analyses the biggest early storylines on the three-year march toward Russia.

Is an 'easy' group good for England?

The last time England were involved in a draw for an international competition, FA chairman Greg Dyke drew a finger across his throat to signify that he wasn't, to say the least, too happy with how tough it would be. Not this time, though, with England getting just about the perfect draw, against a selection...

FIFA president Sepp Blatter gives up International Olympic Committee role

Despite investigations of corruption in the bidding to host the 2018 World Cup, Sepp Blatter assures Russian president Vladimir Putin that the country will have FIFA's full support leading up to the tournament.
Get up to speed with FIFA presidental candidate Michel Platini's amazing record as a player
Michel Platini will stand as a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter as the next president of FIFA, world football's governing body.
French World Cup winners Didier Deschamps and Robert Pires have backed their countryman Michel Platini, who is expected to annouce he is running for FIFA President
The ESPN FC panel discusses the FIFA presidency candidates and their thoughts on the favourites to win the spot, specifically Michele Platini.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is relinquishing his position on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Blatter, 79, was among a group of IOC members up for re-election for another eight-year term on Monday.

But IOC President Thomas Bach said Blatter informed him by letter on July 23 that he would not stand again. Blatter, beset by a corruption scandal at FIFA, is due to be replaced as FIFA president in an election on Feb. 26.

Bach said: "[Blatter] does not deem it to be appropriate to stand for...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Tokyo Sexwale considering FIFA presidency bid

Liberian FIFA Presidential hopeful Musa Bility says Michel Platini is more of the same and thinks he can be a fresh voice to lead football forward.
Get up to speed with FIFA presidental candidate Michel Platini's amazing record as a player
Michel Platini will stand as a candidate to replace Sepp Blatter as the next president of FIFA, world football's governing body.
French World Cup winners Didier Deschamps and Robert Pires have backed their countryman Michel Platini, who is expected to annouce he is running for FIFA President
The ESPN FC panel discusses the FIFA presidency candidates and their thoughts on the favourites to win the spot, specifically Michele Platini.
Tokyo Sexwale has served on FIFA's anti-discrimination task force helped found the Makana FA.

South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale is considering running for the FIFA presidency, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Sexwale, a former political prisoner and close friend of late former South African President Nelson Mandela, has been approached regarding the top role at FIFA as Sepp Blatter prepares to step down in February.

Blatter is standing by the decision he made in June following the bribery scandal that has led to the indictments of top FIFA officials. Blatter himself has not been indicted...