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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup draw results and full daily schedule

Stewart Robson feels England lucked out and got a fairly easy group that contains Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.
ESPN's Julien Laurens believes France will be very happy after drawing Australia, Peru and Denmark.

FIFA conducted the draw for the 2018 World Cup on Friday in Moscow.

The 32 qualified teams, allocated in four pots based on their October FIFA ranking, were drawn into eight groups of four teams each. Hosts Russia were automatically the top seed in Group A despite being the lowest-ranked team.

There could be no more than two teams from Europe in any one pot, and no more than one nation from any other continental confederation.

After playing each team in their group, the top two teams advance...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi thinks Argentina World Cup call-up is unlikely

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
After Argentina conceded six goals in their friendly against Spain, the ESPN FC guys discuss how much should be read into the result.

Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi has told Ole that he does not believe that he will get called up by Argentina for the World Cup this summer.

Icardi, the Inter captain, has scored 26 goals in 30 Serie A appearances this season, including four in his side's 5-0 victory at Sampdoria on March 18.

And although he was called up for four World Cup qualifiers at the end of last year, he does not seem to be part of coach Jorge Sampaoli's plans for Russia.

"It is nothing strange," Icardi said. "I think that it...

 By PA Sport

FIFA's Fatma Samoura dismisses ethics breach claim over El Hadji Diouf link

The FC crew react to ESPN FC's initial pre-World Cup power rankings, which see Brazil claim the top spot over Spain and Germany.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has angrily rejected claims she has broken the governing body's rules by failing to declare a conflict of interest in the race to host the 2026 World Cup.

According to the BBC, Samoura has been reported to FIFA's ethics committee for not mentioning that she is related to ex-footballer and Senegalese compatriot El Hadji Diouf, who is now acting as an ambassador for Morocco's 2026 bid.

The BBC report said the unspecified family link was discovered by the FIFA World...

Russia predicts World Cup will have $31 billion economic impact

Martin Ainstein's latest stop on his tour of World Cup host cities takes him to Ekaterinburg, located on the border of Europe and Asia.

The World Cup could have a total impact on the Russian economy of nearly $31 billion, organisers predicted on Wednesday.

A new report on the economic impact of the tournament said the boost for the country's GDP could amount to between 1.62 trillion rubles ($26 billion) and 1.92 trillion rubles ($30.8 billion) over the 10 years from 2013 through to 2023.

That's attributed to growing tourism plus large-scale spending on construction, plus later knock-on effects from those government investments....

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out of World Cup for England

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sees the positives from his side's first leg against Roma, even though they gave up two goals in the second half.

LIVERPOOL -- England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a "knee ligament injury" that will end his season with Liverpool and rule him out of the World Cup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off early in the first half of Liverpool's 5-2 win over Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at Anfield on Tuesday.

The midfielder underwent a scan on Wednesday where it was confirmed he had sustained a ligament injury, after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had said after the game...