As it happenedended1512149211

World Cup draw 2018 - live updates: Reaction after England land Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G

Latest reaction from the draw in Moscow after the Three Lions learned their fate

Samuel Lovett@samueljlovett
Friday 01 December 2017 10:39
Russia 2018: A look at England's World Cup opponents

We have all the latest reaction from Moscow, where our Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney is in place inside the Kremlin State Place.

England were in pot two for the draw because of their middling Fifa world ranking – but Gareth Southgate’s side avoided any of the tournament favourites and instead will face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia in Group G.

Follow all of the latest below.

All you need to know:

When is it?

The draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup will be held at 3pm GMT on Friday 1st December, in Moscow. It will take place at the Kremlin.

Where can I watch it?

The draw will be shown live on Sky Sports or alternatively you can follow The Independent’s live blog to find out which group your country will be allocated into.

Who is in it?

The teams qualified are:

Uefa (Europe): Russia (hosts) France, Portugal, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium, Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark

Conmebol (South America): Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Peru.

Concacaf (North/Central America and Caribbean): Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama

AFC (Asia): Iran Football, South Korea Football, Japan Football, Saudi Arabia

CAF (Africa): Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Egypt


Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the World Cup draw!

The draw is scheduled to take place at 3pm but join us for build-up from Moscow, where our Chief Football Writer Miguel Delaney is already in place.

Vithushan Ehantharajah1 December 2017 09:31

Miguel has had his say on this afternoon's draw and asks: All the top countries are beatable, so why all the poker faces?

Vithushan Ehantharajah1 December 2017 09:40

England's Group of Death... 

The good news for England is they are unlikely to draw a group as tough as they did in Brazil four years ago, when they were lumbered with four-time winners Italy, two-time winners Uruguay, and eventual 2014 Group D winners Costa Rica.

Based on FIFA's October rankings, which have been used to seed all four pots, the nightmare group for England is Germany, Costa Rica and Nigeria.

While Denmark are the highest ranked team in pot three, and Serbia the highest ranked in pot four, England cannot be drawn with more than one other European side.

Should England replicate their most recent World Cup result against each of those teams, Gareth Southgate's side would end the 2018 group stage with just two points.

Find out all the other permutations here:

Vithushan Ehantharajah1 December 2017 10:05

A reminder of the World Cup pots:

Pot 1: 

  • Russia (hosts)
  • Germany (1)
  • Brazil (2)
  • Portugal (3)
  • Argentina (4)
  • Belgium (5)
  • Poland (6)
  • France (7)
Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:20

Pot 2: 

  • Spain (8)
  • Peru (10)
  • Switzerland (11)
  • England (12)
  • Colombia (13)
  • Mexico (16)
  • Uruguay (17)
  • Croatia (18)
Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:25

Pot 3: 

  • Denmark (19)
  • Iceland (21)
  • Costa Rica (22)
  • Sweden (25)
  • Tunisia (28)
  • Egypt (30)
  • Senegal (32)
  • Iran (34)
Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:31

Pot 4: 

  • Serbia (38)
  • Nigeria (41)
  • Australia (43)
  • Japan (44)
  • Morocco (48)
  • Panama (49)
  • South Korea (62)
  • Saudi Arabia (63)
Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:32

All eyes on Moscow  

Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:34

'Infantino says Fifa doesn't speculate on Russia state-doping allegations' 

Shock. In other news, the Pope is a Catholic and the sky is blue.

So what actually happened?

Well. Gianni Infantino on Friday dodged questions about the alleged existence of a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia, the host country of next year's World Cup finals.

Infantino was speaking alongside Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko ahead of the World Cup draw at the Kremlin.

"Fifa doesn't participate in any speculations about any situation," he said, referring to allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia that could see the country banned from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.

Infantino said Fifa was testing players in and out of competition and that all tests from the 2017 Confederations Cup, the 2016 European

championship and the 2014 World Cup had proven negative.

"These tests are not carried out in Russia and they are carried out by non-Russians," Infantino told reporters.

"Obviously, as it was the case in the past and as will be the case in the future as well, if it turns out that anyone has committed a doping violation, has taken some doping, then there will be sanctions."

I'll just leave this here to make your own judgements.

Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 10:45

Our man Miguel getting in the mood in Moscow...

Samuel Lovett1 December 2017 11:09

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments