Recognising group rivals

Belarus’ footballers to play against the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg in the qualifications for the 2018 World Championship

Belarus’ footballers to play against the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxembourg in the qualifications for the 2018 World Championship

St. Petersburg hosted the draw for the 2018 World Championship tournament, the finals of which will be held in Russia. Belarusian footballers join Group A, alongside teams from the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Bulgaria and Luxemburg. Belarus has previously played these teams in the pre-qualification rounds of the world and European championships.

Only nine group winners will make it through to the finals, following the two-round selection process (with matches both home and away). Another four places will be chosen from the best eight teams occupying second place. As a result, 14 European teams will perform at the 2018 World Championship — including the hosts of the finals: Russia.

Qualification matches will start in September 2016, finishing in October 2017. Play-off matches will take place in November 2017. The final tournament of the World Championship will feature the 32 best teams on the planet, hosted at 12 Russian stadiums from June 14th to July 15th, 2018.

By Yegor Glebov
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