Asian segment of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification works as qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup, organized at Russia, it has the membership of Asian Football Confederation aka AFC. Overall 4.5 positions including 4 straight & 1 inter-confederation play-off positions in final contest are accessible for AFC squads. On April 16 2014, AFC Managerial Board agreed a suggestion to combine the opening qualification events of FIFA World Cup & AFC Asian Cup, it will be enlarged to 24 squads initializing in 2019. So, 1st two events of FIFA World Cup qualifiers also performed as qualifiers for 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE.
Qualification formation is mentioned as below:
1st round: 12 teams (positioned 35 to 46) join home-&-away on 2 legs. 5 victors will advance to the 2nd stage.
2nd round: 40 teams (positioned 1–34) separated into 8 sets of five teams to join home-&-away round-robin match. 8 group victors & 4 group followers will go forward to 3rd stage of FIFA World Cup Qualification also will be able to play for 2019 AFC Asian Cup finishing matches.
3rd round: 12 teams (an improvement from 10 for 2014) which go forward from 2nd stage will be separated into 2 sets of 6 squads to play home-&-away round-robin events. Top 2 squads of every set will qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup & 2 3rd positioned squads will go forward to 4th stage.
4th round: 2 3rd positioned squads of every set from 3rd stage will join home-&-away on 2 legs. Victor will go forward to inter-association play-offs matches.
24 squads removed from World Cup qualification in 2nd stage will finish in 3rd stage of 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualification & they will be separated into 6 sets of 5 squads & finish for left over positions of 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Twenty-four (24) squads will have sixteen uppermost positioned squads removed in 2nd stage, & 8 squads that go forward from play-off stage of 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification that will be played by last twelve squads removed in 2nd stage.
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