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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...

 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...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gernot Rohr confirmed as Nigeria's technical adviser

Gernot Rohr has agreed to move to Nigeria for the role.

Nigeria have appointed Gernot Rohr as technical adviser, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed.

Rohr, 63, who has previously coached Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso, has signed a two-year contract and replaces Sunday Oliseh,who resigned in February. The German was appointed after the NFF's failed attempt to secure the services Paul Le Guen last month. 

"I am enthusiastic to get to work," Rohr said. "This is a big challenge because Nigeria has big players everywhere and has...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA's Infantino wants more African qualifying spots at World Cups

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...