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2018 World Cup: Who has qualified for the finals in Russia next year

Final grid for 2018 World Cup Russia
With 32 teams having qualified, the field for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is set.

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.


Amid Uruguayan continuity, pressure is on Brazil and Argentina seek new start

Argentina's manager Lionel Scaloni insists he hasn't spoken to Lionel Messi on whether he wants to play in the 2018 Copa America after the Barcelona forward was left out of the squad for upcoming friendlies.

In the four-year cycle of international football, the year that follows a World Cup is silly season for South American countries.

Competitive action does not resume until next June, with the Copa America in Brazil, but even though there is a title at stake, the primary aim for many coaches will be to prepare a squad for 2022 qualifiers, which begin toward the end of 2019.

Until then, there is nothing but friendlies. Many are money-chasing exercises played around the world, but that does not render...

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman steps aside after national team contract expires

BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia coach Jose Pekerman let his contract run out after six years and two World Cups with the team.

Pekerman's deal ended last Friday, and the Argentine's decision not to extend the contract was confirmed by Colombia Football Federation president Ramon Jesurun on Tuesday.

Arturo Reyes was appointed as interim coach for friendlies on Friday against Venezuela then on Tuesday against Argentina. Both games are in the United States.

Pekerman led Colombia to their first World Cup...

South American football chief Napout gets nine years, $4.3 million fine

A former head of the governing body for football in South America was sentenced to nine years in prison by a U.S. judge on Wednesday for crimes stemming from the bribery scandal that engulfed the sport three years ago, a spokesman for prosecutors said.

Juan Angel Napout, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn, New York, who also ordered him to pay more than $4.3 million in financial penalties, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.


 By Tim Vickery

Venezuela's club football on the verge of historic breakthrough

Australia's new coach Bert Van Marwijk was quick out of the blocks. A week ahead of Monday's deadline he named his provisional 32-man squad for the World Cup -- to be whittled down to 23 by the time the competition kicks off.

The members of his squad are strewn across Europe and Asia, with very few based at home. Just five players make their living in the country's A-League, the competition launched in 2005-06.

The then eight-team A-League got underway just as Australia ensured qualification for...