Spain misses out as Federation Internationale de Football Association confirms 2018 World Cup seeds

So far, the nine group winners, France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland have qualified directly, while the eight best second-placed teams will now fight it out for the four remaining spots. Joining Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the draw are: Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia. Instead of one seeded pot and three pots determined by logistical and geographical reasoning, Federation Internationale de Football Association has changed its ways so that all four pots are determined purely based on the rankings. The same procedure will then be repeated for the remaining balls in the two pots. The 2010 World Cup champion just misses out as the eighth-ranked team on the planet.

Denmark will instead be seeded, along with Switzerland, Italy and Croatia, after rising seven places in the rankings. The second pot will contain Northern Ireland (23rd), Sweden (25th), Republic of Ireland (26th) and Greece (47th), so Northern Ireland and the Republic can not play each other.

Who will be the team for Northern Ireland and the Republic to avoid? As of now, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Cape Verde and South Africa are all alive here, while Honduras and New Zealand could also land in this pot, should they win their respective playoffs against Australia and Peru, and Greece could also, if it wins its UEFA playoff. The order of fixtures will be determined by the draw.


Four two-legged ties will be played, with the first leg taking place between 9 and 11 November and the return between 12 and 14 of the same month.

Russian Federation is top-seeded for the World Cup despite being ranked No. 65. If there is still no victor, then the tie will go to a penalty shootout.


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