2018 World Cup: Who has qualified for the finals in Russia next year
Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, which began on March 12, 2015, is over with the final 32 teams now known. The seeded draw pots can be seen in full here.
Qualified nations: Russia (hosts), Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uruguay.
UEFA PLAYOFFS (4 PLACES)
Northern Ireland vs. Switzerland (Switzerland won 1-0 on aggregate)
Croatia vs. Greece (Croatia won 4-1 on aggregate)
Sweden vs. Italy (Sweden won 1-0 on aggregate)
Denmark vs. Republic of Ireland (Denmark won 5-1 on aggregate)
INTER-CONFEDERATION PLAYOFFS (2 PLACES)
Honduras vs. Australia; (Australia won 3-1 on aggregate)
New Zealand vs. Peru (Peru won 2-0 on aggregate)
EUROPE (UEFA; 13 PLACES)
Qualifying for 2018 saw seven groups of six nations and two groups of five.
Russia qualify as hosts. Group winners qualified automatically, with the eight best runners-up facing a two-legged playoff. Gibraltar and Kosovo were late additions after being accepted as full FIFA members.
The qualifiers began in September 2016 and ran through November 2017.
GROUP A: Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus, Luxembourg
GROUP B: Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra
GROUP C: Germany, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan, San Marino
GROUP D: Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, Georgia
GROUP E: Romania, Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan
GROUP F: England, Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Malta
GROUP G: Spain, Italy, Albania, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein
GROUP H: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Estonia, Cyprus, Gibraltar
GROUP I: Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, Kosovo
Teams in bold qualified automatically. Teams in italics in the playoffs.
SOUTH AMERICA (CONMEBOL 4.5 PLACES)
As in recent qualifying competitions, all teams played each other home and away. The top four nations qualified directly to the finals. The fifth-place team Peru qualified by beating New Zealand 2-0 over two legs in an intercontinental playoff.
Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.
NORTH AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, CARIBBEAN (CONCACAF; 3.5 PLACES)
Round One: The 14 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Curacao, Dominica, Nicaragua, St Kitts & Nevis
Round Two: The seven winners from the first round and the next 13 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba (Barbados fielded ineligible player), Belize, Canada, Curacao, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St Vincent & the Grenadines
Round Three: The 10 winners from the second round join Jamaica and Haiti -- to make 12 teams playing two-legged ties. Winners: Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, St Vincent & the Grenadines
Round Four: The six winners from the third round join Costa Rica, Mexico, United States, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. Drawn into three groups of four nations playing home and away. Top two nations advance.
Round Five (final round): The six winners from the fourth round formed one group of six teams. Top three teams qualified with the fourth-place team (Honduras) in an intercontinental playoff (0.5 place) against a team from Asia (Australia).
Hexagonal participants: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, United States.
AFRICA (CAF; 5 PLACES)
Round One: The 26 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties, played in October 2015. Winners: Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Swaziland, Tanzania
Round Two: The 13 winners from the first round and the remaining top 27 African nations to make 40 teams playing two-legged ties. Winners: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia.
Round Three (final round): The 20 winners from the second round were drawn into five groups of four nations playing home and away. Group winners qualify for the finals.
The final round began in October 2016 and ran through November 2017. Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia qualified.
Group A: Congo DR, Guinea, Libya, Tunisia
Group B: Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia
Group C: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Morocco
Group D: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Senegal, South Africa
Group E: Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Uganda
ASIA (AFC; 4.5 PLACES)
This followed the same format as for 2014.
Round One: The 12 lowest ranked nations played two-legged ties. Winners: Bhutan, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, India, Timor-Leste, Yemen,.
Round Two: The six winners from the first round join the other 34 Asian nations, drawn into eight groups of five teams -- also played as qualifiers for the 2019 Asian Cup finals. Played June 2015 to March 2016. Eight group winners and four best runners-up advance. VIEW TABLES
Round Three (final group round): The remaining 12 nations are drawn into two groups of six teams. Played September 2016 to September 2017. Group winners and runners-up qualified for the World Cup.
Teams in bold qualified automatically.
Round Four: The teams finishing third in round three -- Australia and Syria -- played a two-legged playoff. The winners (0.5 place) then advanced to the inter-confederation playoff against a team from CONCACAF. Australia beat Syria 3-2 on aggregate to make the intercontinental playoff against Honduras.
OCEANIA (OFC; 0.5 PLACES)
The 2015 OFC Nations Cup doubled as World Cup qualifying.
Round One: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga played a league tournament in August and September 2015. The winner of the tournament, Samoa, advanced to Round Two.
Round Two: Samoa joined the other seven OFC nations in the group stage -- this is also part of the OFC Nations Cup. There were two groups of four teams, with the top three going through. Played from May to June 2016.
New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand and Solomon Islands advanced to round three.
Round Three: Two groups of three teams playing on a home and away basis. Rounds began in November 2016 and finished in June 2017. Group winners then playoff to advance to an intercontinental tie (0.5 place) against the fifth-place team from Conmebol.
New Zealand beat Solomon Islands in the intercontinental playoff, winning 8-3 on aggregate. However, they were eliminated after losing 2-0 on aggregate to Peru in an intercontinental playoff.
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