A look at the qualifying situation for the 32-team field in next year's World Cup:
South Korea and Japan qualify as co-hosts. As many as three more teams from Asia can qualify. Saudi Arabia and China are leading their groups. Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates are the top contenders for a playoff berth against a European side.
All five slots have been filled: South Africa, Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria.
North and Central America
Costa Rica is the only qualifier so far. Two spots remain. Honduras, Mexico and the United States are the contenders.
Argentina is the only qualifier so far. Three guaranteed spots remain, with Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil and Uruguay the contenders. A fifth spot will go to the winner of a playoff between Australia--the Oceania representative--and the fifth-place South American side.
France qualifies as defending champion. Spain, Poland and Sweden are in. Ten or 11 spots remain. The winners of the remaining six groups qualify, and four more teams are guaranteed of advancing through playoffs. A fifth team--probably Ireland--will face the No. 3 Asian team for a berth.