The World Cup 2018 will be competed for by a total of 32 team. So far, 23 countries are already assured of their places in the tournament coming up in Russia next year, leaving 9 slots still open to be fought for by 20 outstanding eligible teams.
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A total of 23 national teams across the globe have already secured tickets to the Russia 2018 World Cup.
* Panama grabbed their first ever World Cup qualification with a controversial goal in a 2-1 win against Costa Rica; a feat that saw the country’s president Juan Carlos Valera immediately declare Wednesday, October 11, the day following the match a public holiday!
* Only Egypt and Nigeria qualified in the African Continent.
A total of 20 national teams still have opportunity to make it to the 2018 tournament. These teams who were runners up in their various groups will participate in play-off between 6-14th November, 2017, to claim the remaining nine places.
* United States failed to qualify for World Cup for the first time since 1986 after losing to Trinidad & Tobago.
Although all the 210 FIFA members, for the first time in history, registered for the preliminary stage of the World Cup 2018 tournament, not all of them succeeded in participating in the competition.
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Three countries, namely Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Kuwait were stopped from competing for varying reasons.
* Zimbabwe was expelled from the competition on 12 March 2015 for their failure to pay former coach José Claudinei a severance fee.
* Indonesia was disqualified following the suspension of their football association by FIFA on 30 May 2015.
* Kuwait on the other hand, had a number of their qualifiers cancelled for a similar suspension that began while their campaign was underway, which eventually resulted in their elimination.
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