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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.



13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 


CAF elects Guinea and Ghana officials to FIFA Council

CAF has elected new officials to fill FIFA Council seats.

CAIRO -- African football leaders have elected officials from Guinea and Ghana to fill two new seats on the FIFA Council.

The Confederation of African Football says Almamy Kabele Camara and Kwesi Nyantakyi earned enough votes in a four-candidate contest on Thursday.

They will complete a seven-member African delegation at an Oct. 13-14 meeting of the expanded FIFA Council, chaired by president Gianni Infantino.

The meeting in Zurich should begin talks to expand the 2026 World Cup to 40 teams and...

 By Colin Udoh

Watford's Isaac Success gets first senior Nigeria call-up

Isaac Success has three goals in nine games this season with Granada.
Watford's Isaac Success has been called up by the senior Nigeria team for the first time ahead of next month's World Cup qualifier vs. Zambia.

Watford's Isaac Success has been called up by Nigeria for the first time ahead of next month's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia, while teammate Odion Ighalo is excused to attend his late father's funeral.

Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi also received a call-up for the Oct. 9 game.

Success, a promising former youth international, has previously been overlooked despite sterling performances during his time with Granada in Spain. Both players are part of a 23-man squad named by Nigeria's technical...

What Nigeria and Gernot Rohr can learn from the U.S. national team

Gernot Rohr and Nigeria are readying for World Cup qualification and must find the right player mix.

Something old, something new. Both combined to give the United States a 4-0 statement win against Trinidad and Tobago to the rest of the CONCACAF field ahead of their Hexagonal round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Over the course of two games against St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, two players came in and showed how a team can make huge progress based on the foundations of team selection, individual merit and well-defined strategy.

On Tuesday night, Christian...

 By Colin Udoh

Gernot Rohr's first Nigeria squad includes Mikel, Iheanacho, Musa

Gernot Rohr
Gernot Rohr was named Nigeria boss last month.

Gernot Rohr has named his first Nigeria squad, picking five England-based players and a handful from the 2016 Olympic team squad to face Tanzania in an 2017 African Nations Cup tie.

Neither country can qualify for the tournament, with the single qualifying place already won by Egypt, but the Super Eagles are using the game as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 World Cup qualifying clash away to Zambia in Ndola in October.

Rohr, named this month as Nigeria coach, has selected 23 players with captain...