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World Cup Qualifying

 By PA Sport

World Cup 2018, 2022 compensation payments to clubs to be increased

ESPN FC's Stuart Holden and Shaka Hislop discuss the latest decision made by FIFA that will see the first winter World Cup final set for Dec. 18 in Qatar.

FIFA will increase payments to clubs for the next two World Cups to almost three times the amount world football's governing body paid out for last year's tournament, it has been announced.

Clubs will share a pot of $209 million (£141.6 million) for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar.

The pot was $70 million for Brazil and only $40 million in South Africa in 2010.

The European Clubs' Association -- which had been demanding compensation for moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter...

 By John Duerden

Bhutan hoping to parlay World Cup qualifying success into lasting stability

Bhutan, the lowest ranked national team on the planet, according to FIFA, pulled off a shock upset of Sri Lanka in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

Bhutan may be officially the worst team in the world, according to FIFA rankings, but after the defeat of Sri Lanka in the first round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup, it is not a title that will be held for much longer. Suddenly, after making history, the future is looking a lot brighter for the mountainous South Asian kingdom.

A first leg 1-0 win on March 12, a first ever victory in qualification (and only the fourth win in the country's history) for the biggest sporting tournament...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

'World's worst team' Bhutan make history in World Cup qualifier

Bhutan players celebrate after their first-leg win.

Bhutan created history by progressing from their first ever World Cup qualifying tie after defeating Sri Lanka 3-1 on aggregate.

The small Himalayan kingdom, dubbed "the world's worst national team" due to sitting bottom of the FIFA Ranking in 209th, knocked out a nation 35 places above them thanks to a 2-1 first-round second-leg victory, which followed on from last week's 1-0 first-leg win.

Chencho Gyeltshen proved to be the hero on Tuesday, opening the scoring early on and then netting in the...

Gibraltar to fight for FIFA membership in May

Gibraltar will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May to fight to join FIFA and enter 2018 World Cup qualifying.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Gibraltar will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May to fight to join FIFA and enter 2018 World Cup qualifying.

The Gibraltar football association's appeal will be heard May 21-22 to challenge FIFA's refusal to grant membership, the court said Thursday.

The hearing is scheduled one week before the FIFA Congress,...

India to play Nepal after first AFC World Cup qualifying draw

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The first qualifying matches to be played for the 2018 World Cup in Russia have been drawn in Asia.

India will host Nepal on March 12 in the pick of six preliminary-round, first-leg matches drawn on Tuesday by the Asian Football Confederation.

Sri Lanka will be at home first against Bhutan, who are ranked 209th and last among FIFA member federations.

The return matches will be played on March 17.

The draw included the 12 lowest-ranked teams in Asia. Winners advance to a...