FIFA World Cup
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Qualification - Europe (UEFA)
European qualification will play 54 teams from total 55 UEFA members (Russia will not play qualification as a host of final tournament). Seeding was based on July's edition of Coca-Cola Ranking FIFA, which was published on 9th of July 2015. Teams were seeded into six pots by 9 teams (last 6th pot contained 7 teams). Gibraltar and Kosovo were not part of draw (more info below).
Result of draw
The draw of qualification took place on 25th of July 2015. The nine group winners qualify directly, and the eight best runners-up go into the play-offs to determine the remaining four qualified sides. Matches in the European Qualifiers will be played between September 2016 and November 2017. Gibraltar and Kosovo weren't members of FIFA in the time of draw. On 9th of June 2016 Gibraltar was assigned to Group H and Kosovo to Group I (UEFA has decided that Kosovo shouldn't play against Bosnia and Herzegovina for security reasons).
All teams will play 10 matches (twice against each other - home and away). In case of equal points, the criteria are following: 1) goal difference 2) goals scored 3) points from matches between teams in question 4) goal difference in matches between teams in question 5) goals scored in matches between teams in question 6) away goals scored in matches between teams in question 7) play-off match on neutral field.
The Play-offs will play best 8 teams on second places (first legs on 9-11 November and second legs on 12-14 November 2017). Seeding should be based on actual version of Coca-Cola Ranking FIFA. Four winners will qualify for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 final tournament.
Final tournament will play 32 teams (Russia as a host and 31 qualified teams). Allocation of slots for each confederation is same like at FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014:
- 1 host (Russia)
- 13 teams from Europe (UEFA)
- 5 teams from Africa (CAF)
- 4 teams from South America (CONMEBOL)
- 4 teams from Asia (AFC)
- 3 teams from North America (CONCACAF)
- 2 teams from inter-continental Play-offs (fifth team from South America vs winner from Oceania; fifth team from Asia vs fourth team from North America).
As usual, 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups by 4 teams. Top two teams from each group will qualify for knockout stage. Informations about seeding for the group stage draw were not published yet, but three pots should be based on geographic regions and last pot should contain host + best seven teams in actual version of Coca-Cola Ranking FIFA. The draw will be held on 1 December 2017.
All times are in CET (Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, ...) . Russia has position A1 as a host.
References: FIFA World Cup 2018 format ; FIFA World Cup 2018 schedule Credits: Google Earth (GeoBasis-DE/BKG); Dmitriy Sadovnikov; Andrew Shiva; Kazaneer; Alexey Filippov; Counterfeiter; Pavel Protchenko; Dmitry89; Tatiana Zubkova; Rakoon; Complex of urban planning policy and construction of the city of Moscow under Creative Commons License.