Renowned Mexican TV presenter Vanessa Huppenkothen is to present and conduct the official draw for the European playoff matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Former Spain international Fernando Hierro will assist the draw proceedings.

The draw will take place in Zurich on Tuesday 17 October and will be live streamed (14.00 local time) on FIFA.com, YouTube and Facebook. At the draw, the eight participating teams will discover which nation stands between them and a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Eight teams will compete in Round 2 of UEFA’s qualifiers for Russia 2018 and these home-and-away play-offs will determine the remaining four sides that will represent their continent on the global stage next year. 

Vanessa Huppenkothen 
A television presenter for ESPN, Vanessa has a wealth of experience in the world of sport. Fluent in Spanish, English, German and French, she has covered numerous international sporting occasions, most notably the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Vanessa holds a BSc in International Relations and Studies and joined ESPN early last year.

Fernando Hierro
The former Spain captain played at three FIFA World Cups™ and enjoyed a brilliant playing career. On the international front he won 89 caps for La Roja, scoring 29 goals - a remarkable achievement for a defender. With Real Madrid, Hierro won three UEFA Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns. Hierro also served as technical director with the Spanish national team during a golden period between 2007 and 2011, when Spain became European and world champions.