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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

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.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

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

Russia...

Jorge Sampaoli is our 'chosen coach' to manage Argentina - AFA president

Shaka Hislop weighs the pros and cons of coaching at the international level amid Jorge Sampaoli's links to the Argentina job.
Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli says there's no truth to the rumours that he is set to become the next Argentina head coach.

Jorge Sampaoli is the only candidate for the vacant Argentina coaching position, Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has said.

Argentina need a new coach following the AFA's dismissal of Edgardo Bauza on April 10 after eight months in charge that have left the country's 2018 World Cup qualifying hopes in jeopardy.

Sampaoli, who was born in Argentina, is under contract with Sevilla until June 2018 but can leave this summer provided his €1.5 million release clause is...

Copa America will have 16 teams for 2019 edition hosted by Brazil

Chile players react after beating Colombia in the 2016 edition of the Cope America in the United States.

SANTIAGO, Chile -- The 2019 Copa America will consist of 16 teams under a measure approved on Wednesday by CONMEBOL.

Football's governing body in South America only has 10 members and have previously invited two other countries to play in their regional international cup. Mexico have played in the Copa America since 1993.

The standard 12-team field for the South American championship was broken last year with 16 teams playing in a special 100-year anniversary edition in the United States....

CONMEBOL chiefs put millions in personal, suspicious accounts - audit

Despite being sacked as Argentina head coach, Edgardo Bauza thinks and hopes they still qualify for the World Cup.
Nicolas Leoz transferred millions of dollars from CONMEBOL to personal accounts while president of the confederation.

SANTIAGO, Chile -- The leaders of South America's soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released on Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation's former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning...

Diego Maradona criticism doesn't bother me - Jorge Sampaoli

Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli says there's no truth to the rumours that he is set to become the next Argentina head coach.
Sid Lowe explains how the Argentine FA's aim for Jorge Sampaoli to become head coach has negatively impacted Sevilla.

Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli refused to comment on Wednesday on the harsh assessment of his abilities made by former Argentina coaches Diego Maradona and Carlos Bilardo.

The two said Sampaoli, reported to be the preferred choice of the country's football association to move into the vacant position, is not the "right man" to guide the national team.

Sampaoli announced last week he had an offer to guide Argentina but would only consider it once the La Liga season is over.

When asked about Maradona...