Live Updates
  • England drawn alongside Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta in Group F
  • Wales to face the Republic of Ireland, Austria, Serbia, Moldova and Georgia in Group D
  • Northern Ireland handed tough Group C draw and will play Germany, Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino
  • Copa America champions Chile to meet Brazil in first game of South American qualifying
Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying draw
141 countries from five different confederations discovered their World Cup qualifying fate at the Konstantin Palace in St Petersburg on 25 July. Getty

That concludes our coverage of the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw. Keep your eyes peeled for reaction from the home nations across the weekend at IBTimes UK.

Wales have been paired with the Republic of Ireland in Group D along with Austria, Serbia, Moldova and Georgia.

Northern Ireland will have to best Germany and the Czech Republic if they are to automatically qualify from Group C. Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino their other opponents.

Well, well, well. England have been drawn alongside Scotland. Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta the other teams in Group F.

European qualification groups

Group A







Group B




Faroe Islands



Group C


Czech Republic

Northern Ireland



San Marino

Group D




Republic of Ireland



Group E







Group F







Group G







Group H


Bosnia and Herzegovina




Group I






Zenit striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov and former German international stalwart Oliver Bierhoff to draw the teams.

Russia are not included in this draw, of course, with World Cup hosts always guaranteed a place at the tournament.

A final call for this, which explains all you need to know about the structure of European qualifying.

Copa America winners Chile v Brazil is quite the opening fixture in South American qualifying.

After a brief jazz interlude, we will get down to the business of Europe's groups.

Conmebol qualifying positions

1. Colombia

2. Chile

3. Paraguay

4. Argentina

5. Brazil

6. Ecuador

7. Venezuela

8. Bolivia

9. Peru

10. Uruguay

Opening fixtures

Colombia v Peru

Chile v Brazil

Argentina v Ecuador

Bolivia v Uruguay

Venezuela v Paraguay

Argentina confirmed in fourth position and Brazil fifth so no single team has to play them twice in a week. Now for the rest of the zone.

Attentions now turn to South American Conmebol qualifying. There are no individual groups here, with all 10 teams facing each other home and away.

Diego Forlan and two-time World Cup winner Ronaldo the next guests to assist with the draw.

Oceania groups

Group A


New Caledonia

Papa New Guinea

American Samoa or the Cook Islands or Samoa or Tonga

Group B

New Zealand

Solomon Islands



American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga will face each other in a round-robin format in September, with the winner joining Tahiti, New Caledonia and Papa New Guinea in Group A.

Former Russian captain Alexey Smertin, who played for Chelsea, Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and Fulham before retiring in 2008, is to help with the Oceania draw. Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Predrag Rajković alongside him.

That concludes the Concacaf section of the draw.

A reminder that Mexico face Jamaica in the final of the 2015 Gold Cup at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia tomorrow evening (26 July).

Oceania up next, with all 11 member associations set to compete over three rounds.

Round four groups

Group A



Curacao or El Salvador

Canada or Belize

Group B

Costa Rica


Grenada or Haiti

Jamaica or Nicaragua

Group C

United States

Trinidad and Tobago

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba

Antigua and Barbuda or Guatemala

Round three

Curacao v El Salvador

Canada v Belize

Grenada v Haiti

Jamaica v Nicaragua

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v Aruba

Antigua and Barbuda v Guatemala

The six winners from these ties will move into round four.

Italy's 2006 World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro arrives on stage to take part in the draw for North, Central America and the Caribbean.

Concacaf draw is up next, with a brief mention of Asian qualifying which began back in March.

Zimbabwe, you may notice, were absent from that draw. This is because they were expelled from qualifying by Fifa in March following a payment dispute with former coach José Claudinei Georgini.

Cameroon, Tunisia, Guinea, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Congo DR, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, the Cape Verde Islands and Algeria await the winners of those first 13 ties.

Confirmed second round fixtures

Sudan v Zambia

Libya v Rwanda

Morocco v Equatorial Guinea

Mozambique v Gabon

Benin v Burkina Faso

Togo v Uganda

Angola v South Africa

Round one

Somalia v Niger

South Sudan v Mauritania

Gambia v Namibia

Sao Tome and Principe v Ethiopia

Chad v Sierra Leone

Comoros v Lesotho

Djibouti v Swaziland

Eritrea v Botswana

Seychelles v Burundi

Liberia v Guinea-Bissau

Central African Republic v Madagascar

Mauritius v Kenya

Tanzania v Malawi

Former Barcelona and Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o drawing rounds one and two of African qualification alongside former Russian international Rinat Dasayev.

African qualification groups being drawn first...

Natalia Vodianova and Dmitry Shepelev are hosting the draw, which is set to begin any second now and will feature footballing luminaries including the likes of former World Cup winners Ronaldo and Fabio Cannavaro.

Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk will not be involved, however, having been withdrawn from proceedings yesterday by manager Andre Villas-Boas for sporting reasons with the defending Russian Premier League champions set to face FC Ural in Yekaterinburg tomorrow.

The Brazilian had spoken out about the problems of racism in Russian football last week in the aftermath of the alleged racial abuse suffered by FC Ufa midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong.

We are not expecting the European qualifying groups to be drawn for a little while yet.

Outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Vladimir Putin on stage now.

A particularly unfavourable but perfectly possible draw for the Three Lions would inevitably feature:







After a cursory glance at those European pots, the ideal scenario for Roy Hodgson would probably look a little something like this:


Bosnia and Herzegovina


Faroe Islands


San Marino

Pot two is a difficult one.

Although Bosnia and Herzegovina reached the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Mehmed Baždarević's side are not faring particularly well during qualification for Euro 2016 while Austria, Iceland and Slovakia, by contrast, all top their groups.

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of the qualifying draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

141 countries from five different confederations await their fate at the Konstantin Palace in St Petersburg, with only Asia immune from proceedings given that their campaign is already underway.

Before we get into the somewhat tedious specifics, click here for a preview of the draw and, most importantly, go here for the full detailed lowdown on how it all works including seedings, pots and everything else you need to know.

The draw is scheduled to officially get underway at around 16:00 BST, although as ever it is notoriously difficult to predict when these sorts of grand events will start and finish and just how much waffle will be involved.

Our guess is a lot.