1998 FIFA World Cup qualification

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1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Teams 174 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 643
Goals scored 1922 (2.99 per match)
1994
2002

A total of 174 teams entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds which began with the preliminary qualification draw on 12 December 1995 at Paris, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. This is the first time there would be 32 teams in the finals. France, as the hosts, and Brazil, as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 30 spots open for competition.

The 32 spots available in the 1998 World Cup would be distributed among the continental zones as follows:

  • Europe (UEFA): 15 places, one of which went to automatic qualifier France, while the other 14 places were contested by 49 teams.
  • South America (CONMEBOL): 5 places, one of which went to automatic qualifier Brazil, while the other 4 places were contested by 9 teams.
  • North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 places, contested by 30 teams.
  • Africa (CAF): 5 places, contested by 38 teams.
  • Asia (AFC): 3.5 places, contested by 36 teams. The winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs (against a team from OFC).
  • Oceania (OFC): 0.5 place, contested by 10 teams. The winner of the 0.5 place would advance to the intercontinental play-offs (against a team from AFC).

A total of 168 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 643 qualifying matches were played, and 1922 goals were scored (an average of 2.99 per match).

In the event, the final was played between the two automatic qualifiers.

Continental zones[edit]

To see the dates and results of the qualification rounds for each continental zone, click on the following articles:

Group 1 – Denmark qualified. Croatia advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 2 – England qualified. Italy advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 3 – Norway qualified. Hungary advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 4 – Austria qualified. Scotland also qualified with the best record among the runners-up.
Group 5 – Bulgaria qualified. Russia advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 6 – Spain qualified. Yugoslavia advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 7 – Netherlands qualified. Belgium advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 8 – Romania qualified. Republic of Ireland advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Group 9 – Germany qualified. Ukraine advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
Play-offs – Croatia, Italy, Belgium and Yugoslavia qualified over Ukraine, Russia, Republic of Ireland and Hungary respectively.
Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia and Chile qualified.
Mexico, USA and Jamaica qualified.
Group 1 – Nigeria qualified.
Group 2 – Tunisia qualified.
Group 3 – South Africa qualified.
Group 4 – Cameroon qualified.
Group 5 – Morocco qualified.
Group A – Saudi Arabia qualified. Iran advanced to the AFC play-off.
Group B – South Korea qualified. Japan advanced to the AFC play-off.
Play-off – Japan qualified. Iran advanced to the AFC–OFC intercontinental play-off.
Australia advanced to the AFC–OFC intercontinental play-off.

Intercontinental play-offs[edit]

The teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The winner would qualify.

AFC–OFC intercontinental play-off[edit]

22 November 1997
Iran  1–1  Australia
Azizi Goal 40' Kewell Goal 19'
Azadi Stadium, Tehran
Attendance: 128,000
Referee: Pierluigi Pairetto (Italy)

29 November 1997
Australia  2–2  Iran
Kewell Goal 32'
Vidmar Goal 48'
Bagheri Goal 71'
Azizi Goal 75'

The aggregate score was tied 3–3, and Iran qualified due to the away goals rule.

Qualified teams[edit]

Final qualification status
  Country qualified for World Cup
  Country failed to qualify
  Country did not enter World Cup
  Country not a FIFA member

The following 32 teams qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup:

Team Qualified as Qualification date Appearance
in finals
Consecutive
Streak
Previous best performance
 France (h) Host 002 July 1992 10th 1 (Last: 1986) Third Place (1958, 1986)
 Brazil (c) Defending Champions 0017 July 1994 16th 16 Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994)
 Nigeria CAF Final Round Group 1 Winners 007 June 1997 2nd 2 Round of 16 (1994)
 Tunisia CAF Final Round Group 2 Winners 008 June 1997 2nd 1 (Last: 1978) Group Stage (1978)
 Morocco CAF Final Round Group 5 Winners 008 June 1997 4th 2 Round of 16 (1986)
 South Africa CAF Final Round Group 3 Winners 0016 August 1997 1st 1
 Cameroon CAF Final Round Group 4 Winners 0017 August 1997 4th 3 Quarter Finals (1990)
 Romania UEFA Group 8 Winners 0020 August 1997 7th 3 Quarter Finals (1994)
 Norway UEFA Group 3 Winners 006 September 1997 3rd 2 Group Stage (1938, 1994)
 Bulgaria UEFA Group 5 Winners 0010 September 1997 7th 2 Fourth Place (1994)
 Argentina CONMEBOL Winners 0010 September 1997 12th 7 Winners (1978, 1986)
 Colombia CONMEBOL Third Place 0010 September 1997 4th 3 Round of 16 (1990)
 Paraguay CONMEBOL Runners-Up 0010 September 1997 5th 1 (Last: 1986) Round of 16 (1986)
 Denmark UEFA Group 1 Winners 0011 October 1997 2nd 1 (Last: 1986) Round of 16 (1986)
 England UEFA Group 2 Winners 0011 October 1997 10th 1 (Last: 1990) Winners (1966)
 Austria UEFA Group 4 Winners 0011 October 1997 7th 1 (Last: 1990) Third Place (1954)
 Spain UEFA Group 6 Winners 0011 October 1997 10th 6 Fourth Place (1950)
 Netherlands UEFA Group 7 Winners 0011 October 1997 6th 3 Runners-Up (1974, 1978)
 Germany UEFA Group 9 Winners 0011 October 1997 14th 12 Winners (1954, 1974, 1990)
 Scotland Best runner-up 0011 October 1997 8th 1 (Last: 1990) Group Stage (1954, 1958, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990)
 Mexico CONCACAF Fourth Round Winners 0012 October 1997 11th 2 Quarter Finals (1970, 1986)
 South Korea AFC Final Round Group B Winners 0018 October 1997 5th 4 Group Stage (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994)
 United States CONCACAF Fourth Round Runners-Up 009 November 1997 6th 3 Third Place (1930)
 Saudi Arabia AFC Final Round Group A Winners 0012 November 1997 2nd 2 Round of 16 (1994)
 Croatia UEFA Play-off Winners 0015 November 1997 1st 1
 Italy UEFA Play-off Winners 0015 November 1997 14th 10 Winners (1934, 1938, 1982)
 Belgium UEFA Play-off Winners 0015 November 1997 10th 5 Fourth Place (1986)
 Yugoslavia UEFA Play-off Winners 0015 November 1997 9th 1 (Last: 1990) Fourth Place (1930, 1962)
 Japan AFC Play-off Winners 0016 November 1997 1st 1
 Jamaica CONCACAF Fourth Round Third Place 0016 November 1997 1st 1
 Chile CONMEBOL Fourth Place 0016 November 1997 7th 1 (Last: 1982) Third Place (1962)
 Iran AFC v OFC Play-off Winners 0029 November 1997 2nd 1 (Last: 1978) Group Stage (1978)


(h) – qualified automatically as hosts

(c) – qualified automatically as defending champions

1Includes 10 appearances by DFB representing West Germany between 1954 and 1990.
2Excludes appearances by pre-division Yugoslavia. If those are counted together, this is their 9th appearance, and their previous appearance was in 1990.

Notes[edit]

  • For the first time, the South American qualifiers were held in a single group.
  • Australia had a 2–0 lead against Iran in the second leg of their play-off against Iran, but conceded two late goals and was denied a place in the finals. The result meant that Australia went undefeated in qualifying but still miss out on qualification.
  • Burundi won their 2 first games of this qualifying campaign, unfortunately they had to withdraw due to civil war, meaning they were eliminated though winning all of their matches.

External links[edit]