Fans apply for 3.5million 2018 World Cup tickets

Fans apply for 3.5million 2018 World Cup tickets

Following last night's loss to Trinidad and Tobago in the final night of CONCACAF qualifying, the United States Men's National Team will be left out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Iran were next on board in June, with Japan securing their place from Asia in late August.

Indeed, Murdoch-owned broadcaster Fox, whose news arm have courted controversy after a string of sexual harassment cases, paid a staggering $400m for the rights to broadcast the 2018 World Cup. Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland are nearly certain to be in pot 3 should they qualify, while Greece would definitely be pot 4.

Given that only 23 countries have qualified for next year's finals so far, the figure would appear to show many fans have lost interest in the team following their underwhelming recent displays.

Most of the applications have come from Russian Federation while German, Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican, Colombian, Egyptian and Polish fans all rank in the top 10 along with supporters from the U.S. and China - despite neither country qualifying.

Germany, England, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Serbia, Portugal and France took the remaining automatic places on offer to European nations after each topping their respective group. The highest-ranked teams will be placed in Pot 1, the next-highest in Pot 2...

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For some certain individuals in America, though, the ignominy of missing out on football's central showpiece will be considerably greater than for others.

Both matches will be played at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Slovakia got the short end of the stick by ranking last among the second-place teams in the qualifying groups.

Ratings on ESPN soared three years ago when the USA team advanced out of the group stage, before falling to Belgium in extra time in the Round of 16. In Group C, it comes down to Morocco and the Ivory Coast. But such is the tight nature of the group, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and South Africa all still have a chance. If Tunisia miss out on the finals, then DR Congo would most likely be pot 4.

Below is how the pots are looking for the draw, which takes place on Friday.

Two-legged intercontinental playoffs next month between countries from four different confederations will determine the identity of two further qualifiers. Honduras, finishing 4th in the North American qualifiers, will play Australia twice, with the Aussies coming out of the Asian qualifiers victorious against Syria in the 3rd place playoff. Peru haven't been to the World Cup since 1982.

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