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Jul 27, 2015

Despite concerns, full steam ahead for Russia World Cup

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – The preliminary round draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia marked both a first and last step on the road to the finals.

While Saturday’s draw was the start of the countdown to the event, the announcement on the same day that FIFA’s Executive Committee had endorsed Russia as the host nation was designed to end talk of it being stripped of the finals.

Jul 27, 2015

Soccer-Despite concerns, full steam ahead for Russia World Cup

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 27 (Reuters) – The preliminary round draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia marked both a first and last step on the road to the finals.

While Saturday’s draw was the start of the countdown to the event, the announcement on the same day that FIFA’s Executive Committee had endorsed Russia as the host nation was designed to end talk of it being stripped of the finals.

Jul 25, 2015

FIFA puts troubles aside at glitzy World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – FIFA put its problems to one side and began the countdown to the 2018 World Cup finals on Saturday when Russian president Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Sepp Blatter re-assured the nation the tournament would go ahead as planned.

A glitzy preliminary-round draw ceremony was beamed live to 170 countries around the world, sending a powerful message that the finals would take place no matter what enquiries are going on over alleged voting irregularities which secured Russia the hosting rights five years ago.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-FIFA puts troubles aside at glitzy World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, July 25 (Reuters) – FIFA put its problems to one side and began the countdown to the 2018 World Cup finals on Saturday when Russian president Vladimir Putin and FIFA chief Sepp Blatter re-assured the nation the tournament would go ahead as planned.

A glitzy preliminary-round draw ceremony was beamed live to 170 countries around the world, sending a powerful message that the finals would take place no matter what enquiries are going on over alleged voting irregularities which secured Russia the hosting rights five years ago.

Jul 25, 2015

Spain and Italy paired in 2018 World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Spain and Italy were placed in the same qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as were the Netherlands and France, but holders Germany were handed a kinder campaign with the Czech Republic their chief rivals in the draw made on Saturday.

Spain, world champions in 2010, and Italy, who won the last of their four titles in 2006, are favourites to fill the top two slots in Group G after being paired with Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-Spain and Italy paired in 2018 World Cup draw

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 25 (Reuters) – Spain and Italy were placed in the same qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as were the Netherlands and France, but holders Germany were handed a kinder campaign with the Czech Republic their chief rivals in the draw made on Saturday.

Spain, world champions in 2010, and Italy, who won the last of their four titles in 2006, are favourites to fill the top two slots in Group G after being paired with Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.

Jul 25, 2015

World champions Germany get kind qualifying draw

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – World champions Germany avoided facing some of their strongest rivals when the draw for the European qualifying groups for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia was made on Saturday.

Germany, who won the World Cup for the fourth time in Brazil last year will face the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino in Group C.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-World champions Germany get kind qualifying draw

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, July 25 (Reuters) – World champions Germany avoided facing some of their strongest rivals when the draw for the European qualifying groups for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia was made on Saturday.

Germany, who won the World Cup for the fourth time in Brazil last year will face the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino in Group C.

Jul 25, 2015

U.S. in group with Trinidad for World Cup qualifiers

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – The United States, who have qualified for the last seven World Cups, will begin their quest for an eighth straight appearance in Russia in 2018 with Trinidad & Tobago likely to provide the toughest opposition in their first qualifying group.

The U.S., who reached the last 16 in Brazil last year, will also meet the winners of two earlier qualifying round games — St Vincent and the Grenadines v Aruba, and Antigua and Barbuda v Guatemala.

Jul 25, 2015

Soccer-U.S. in group with Trinidad for World Cup qualifiers

ST PETERSBURG, July 25 (Reuters) – The United States, who have qualified for the last seven World Cups, will begin their quest for an eighth straight appearance in Russia in 2018 with Trinidad & Tobago likely to provide the toughest opposition in their first qualifying group.

The U.S., who reached the last 16 in Brazil last year, will also meet the winners of two earlier qualifying round games — St Vincent and the Grenadines v Aruba, and Antigua and Barbuda v Guatemala.