The field is finalised. Peru is the 32nd and final nation to secure a place at next year’s World Cup in Russia after a 2-0 win against New Zealand.
The Kiwis were unable to match the Socceroos heroics from a day earlier and will watch from home along with the likes of Italy, the Netherlands, Ghana, Chile and the US.
For Peru, Australia — and the 30 other countries headed to the tournament starting in June — the next step is the World Cup draw on December 1.
The 32 countries that will compete at next year’s World Cup finals in Russia are:
Europe: Russia (qualified as hosts, world ranking: 65), France (7), Portugal (3), Germany (1), Serbia (38), Poland (6), England (12), Spain (8), Belgium (5), Iceland (21), Switzerland (11), Croatia (18), Sweden (25), Denmark (19)
South America: Brazil (2), Uruguay (17), Argentina (4), Colombia (13), Peru (10)
Africa: Nigeria (41), Egypt (30), Morocco (48), Tunisia (28), Senegal (32)
Central America: Mexico (16), Costa Rica (22), Panama (49)
This means four of the world’s five largest countries — population-wise — will be absent at next year’s event. Brazil is safely through but China, India, the USA and Indonesia failed to qualify.
The combined population of nations competing in the World Cup is approximately 1.6 billion, leaving the other 5.91 billion people on earth without a team to cheer for.
Teams have been split into four pots based on their FIFA world ranking. Pot One contains the seven highest-ranked sides plus tournament hosts Russia.
Pot Two features the next best teams, and so on and so forth for Pots Three and Four. Australia finds itself in pot four.
Pot One: Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France, Russia
Pot Two: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia
Pot Three: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran
Pot Four: Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
These countries will then be divided into eight groups of four from A to H with each side playing three times before the top two advance to the second round. Russia will be dropped into Group A as hosts.
FIFA limits each of the four-team groups to a maximum of two European teams. No two teams from any other continental confederation can be drawn together. Potentially tough draws could group Brazil, Spain, Egypt and Serbia, and Germany with England, Costa Rica and Nigeria.
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