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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's Infantino wants more African qualifying spots at World Cups

The secretary general of the Nigerian Football Federation says Gianni Infantino's visit is good news for the country.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he wants at least two more places for African teams if his World Cup expansion plan takes place.

Infantino has already said he wants to see the World Cup increase from 32 teams to 40, with the expansion planned to take place after the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

African nations currently have five qualification spots in the 32-team format, but Infantino wants that increased to at least seven if his plan goes ahead.

"I believe for the World Cup 2026 -- because...

CAF World Cup qualifying: Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria all drawn together

Nigeria celebrate
Nigeria face a stiff test to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Three of the five African teams at the 2014 World Cup have been drawn in the same group to qualify for the 2018 edition.

Only one of Algeria, Cameroon and Nigeria will play at the next tournament in Russia after the Confederation of African Football made the draw for five qualifying groups on Friday.

The three traditional powers were grouped with Zambia.

Just the group winners in all of five four-team pools will advance to the 32-team tournament in Russia.

Ivory Coast, who aim to reach their fourth...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rival officials brawl at Nigeria football federation headquarters

Nigeria's Amaju Pinnick
Amaju Pinnick, left, is the president of the NFF as recognised by FIFA.

The Nigeria Football Federation says there has been a brawl at its headquarters after a group of rival officials who claim they should be in charge broke into the building.

The NFF said in a statement that its head spokesman and another of its staff members traded punches with one of the men who forced their way in. The NFF says members of its staff were pushed around and harassed.

The NFF released a photograph which it claims shows the front door of the building after it was broken by the rival...

Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb to miss six weeks after knee surgery

Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb has helped Algeria reach the second round of the World Cup.
Nabil Bentaleb will not be able to play for Algeria or Tottenham in the coming weeks.

Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb is unlikely to play again this season after being ruled out for six weeks following knee surgery.

The midfielder was replaced after 25 minutes of Tottenham's under-21 win over Leicester City on Friday and he underwent a scan on Monday which revealed knee ligament damage.

He has withdrawn from...