Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland unseeded for World Cup draw

The draw will be staged on December 1 in Moscow.

Martin O'Neill's side will be unseeded for tomorrow's draw for the play-offs with confirmation that Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Denmark are the seeded nations.

Federation Internationale de Football Association uses its October World Ranking to decide all four seeding pots, despite nine places in the 32-team World Cup line-up still to be decided in November.

Northern Ireland join the Republic of Ireland as an unseeded country in the draw, but have fallen to 23 in the latest standings.

Capt (retd) Safdar released after appearance before court @ Pakistan Herald
Safdar, who was arrested soon after midnight, was expected to be released after his NAB court appearance with Maryam this morning. However, Sharif and his two sons were absent as they are in London where 67-year-old Sharif's wife is battling throat cancer.

Chile stayed in ninth despite missing out on World Cup qualification and Peru rose into the top 10 for the first time after qualifying for the intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.

The draw for the final qualifiers takes place on Tuesday and will determine the pairings of the four matches, with those ranked highest avoiding each other. The return leg takes place between November 12 and 14. The balls are then mixed and drawn one-by-one. The first ball drawn will host the first leg between November 9 and 11. The coaches of the eight teams are expected to be in attendance, while Mexican presenter Vanessa Huppenkothen will host the event, with Fernando Hierro carrying out the draw itself.

The men's national team, which qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last month, started 2017 as the world's 37th-ranked team. If there is still no deciding factor at the end of normal time, then the tie will go to extra time (two periods of 15 minutes), with the away goals rule still applicable.

  • Lawrence Cooper