ZURICH, October 11, 2017 - Sweden, Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Greece and Croatia have all booked their spots for an exciting play-off that will unveil the remaining four European teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia™. The eight best runners-up will play their crucial matches in mid-November, while fellow European contenders France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Iceland go straight to Russia.
Representatives of the teams that have qualified for the play-offs are invited to attend the draw on 17 October in Zurich that will unveil those thrilling clashes. The teams will be seeded in two pots with the four highest-ranked teams placed in one pot. Their seeding will be based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking published on Monday, 16 October.
Media accreditation is open via the FIFA Media Channel until Friday, 13 October. A mixed zone will be organised immediately after the event and the draw will also be streamed live on FIFA.com and YouTube as of 14:00 CET. Broadcasters wishing to obtain the international feed or book services on site should contact FIFABroadcasterServicing@fifa.org.
The eight best runners-up after Round 1 were decided by ranking criteria as stated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Regulations, namely points, goal difference, goals scored and disciplinary ranking, with the results against teams ranked 6th in the respective groups not taken into account. The eight teams will be paired into four home-and-away ties.
The play-off ties will be decided by aggregate score over two legs, though, in the event of a draw, the team that scores more away goals will qualify. If the winner is still not decided at the end of normal time in the second leg, the match will go to extra time with two periods of 15 minutes and the away goals rule still applied. If the scores are still level at the end of extra time, the tie will go to penalties, as described in the Laws of the Game.
One team will be drawn from Pot 1 and the other will be drawn from Pot 2, with the two balls then placed into a third pot. These two balls will be stirred again and drawn one by one. The first ball drawn will be the home team for the first leg. The same process will be repeated for the remaining balls in each pot.