All you need to know about the FIFA World Cup Play-Off Draw
- Four World Cup spots up for grabs in European play-offs
- Draw takes place in Zurich on 17 October
- The event will be streamed live on FIFA.com
The number of places still available at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is falling rapidly, with 23 of the 32 spots having already been taken. Ten of those countries already making plans for next year (including the host nation Russia) are European. The Old Continent has another four berths up for grabs, with the eight best group runners-up from the UEFA qualifiers heading into the play-offs to fight it out for those remaining spots.
The draw for the forthcoming play-off round will take place at 13.00 on Tuesday 17 October in Zurich.
Which teams are in the draw?
Denmark, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Northern Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.
The eight best group runners-up were divided up based on criteria set out in the regulations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, namely points, goal difference, number of goals scored and fair play ranking. Results obtained against teams which finished sixth in the respective groups were discounted.
How will the draw work?
The eight teams will be divided into two pots, with the four best-ranked teams in one of the pots.
Seeded Teams (FIFA World Ranking)
Switzerland (11), Italy (15), Croatia (18), Denmark (19).
Unseeded Teams (FIFA World Ranking)
Northern Ireland (23), Sweden (25), Republic of Ireland (26), Greece (47).
First of all, a team will be drawn from pot 1, and then another from pot 2. Both balls will then be placed into a third pot. Both balls in pot 3 will then be mixed up again and then drawn one after the other. The team drawn first will be at home in the first leg. The same procedure will then be repeated for the remaining balls in the two pots.
How and when will the matches be played?
The eight teams will play two matches with home and away legs, which are scheduled to take place between 9 – 14 November.
The results of the play-off matches will be based on the aggregate of the two legs. Should the scores be level, the team which scores more goals away from home will go through. If there is still not a winner at the end of regulation time in the second leg, the match will go into extra time, with two halves of 15 minutes each. The away goals rule will also apply in extra time. Should there still be no winner at the end of extra time, the tie will be decided on penalties, as set out in the Laws of the Game.