Which Teams Have Already Qualified For 2018 World Cup?

Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

With most of the world's top leagues pausing for the Federation Internationale de Football Association worldwide break, the attention turns to the final qualifying matches for next summer's World Cup.

The draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup will be held on Friday, December 1 in Moscow.

"In general, the state of readiness is good, planning is good and on track", Colin Smith, Fifa's director of competitions, said.

World Cup hosts Russian Federation were the first team to secure their participation when FIFA chose to hand the hosting rights to the European country. But he cautioned: "There are still some risks and a significant amount of work to be done - especially in the next two or three months" to finish all the infrastructure by the end of this year.

"One can see in general that the Luzhniki (stadium) is magnificent and is really the stadium befitting for opening and the final of the FIFA World Cup", Smith stated.


The Arena was built in 1957, and did not initially meet the World Cup minimum of 35,000 capacity for hosting games. "The vast majority of the fans that will come to the World Cup are here to celebrate, to party and to have a good time", Smith said.

Smith did however echo Russian President Vladimir Putin's warning that Russia has no wiggle room to be complacent should it want to adhere to the tight construction deadlines.

Russian officials have been positive about the country's progress, but concede that work on some venues is behind schedule.

Construction on the 45,000-seat stadium in Samara - which will host six World Cup matches, including a quarter-final - has been plagued with delays over recent months.

"The contractors, the city, the region, all relevant bodies have indicated that they are able to deliver the stadium by the end of the year", Smith said of the arena.

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