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Both Iceland and Panama qualified for the first time, with the former becoming the smallest country in terms of population to reach the World Cup.
Other teams returning after absences of at least three tournaments include: Egypt, returning to the finals after their last appearance in 1990; Morocco, who last competed in 1998; Peru, returning after 1982; and Senegal, competing for the second time after reaching the quarter-finals in 2002.
England, which was bidding to host its second tournament, was eliminated in the first round.
The English Football Association and others raised concerns of bribery on the part of the Russian team and corruption from FIFA members.
France won the match 4–2 to claim their second World Cup title, marking the fourth consecutive title won by a European team.
During the bidding process, the three remaining non-UEFA nations (Australia, Japan, and the United States) gradually withdrew from the 2018 bids, and the UEFA nations were thus ruled out of the 2022 bid.
The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast, who had both made the previous three tournaments.
The 32 teams were drawn into 8 groups of 4, by selecting one team from each of the 4 ranked pots.
Of the 32 teams, 20 had also appeared in the last tournament in 2014, while both Iceland and Panama made their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup.They claimed that four members of the executive committee had requested bribes to vote for England, and Sepp Blatter had said that it had already been arranged before the vote that Russia would win.The 2014 Garcia Report, an internal investigation led by Michael J.This was different from previous draws, when only pot 1 was based on FIFA rankings while the remaining pots were based on geographical considerations.However, teams from the same confederation still were not drawn against each other for the group stage, except that two UEFA teams could be in each group.