FIFA World Cup qualification

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FIFA World Cup qualification
FIFA World Cup wordmark.svg
Founded1933; 89 years ago (1933)
RegionInternational (FIFA)
Number of teams211 (currently eligible)
215 (overall)
Television broadcastersList of broadcasters
WebsiteOfficial website

The FIFA World Cup qualification is a competitive match that a national association football team takes in order to qualify for one of the available berths at the final tournament of the (men's) FIFA World Cup.

Qualifying tournaments are held within the six FIFA continental zones, each organized by their respective confederations: AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania), and UEFA (Europe). For each World Cup, FIFA decides the number of places in the finals allocated to each of the zones, based on the numbers and relative strengths of the confederations' teams.

As a courtesy, the host receives an automatic berth selection, as has happened with the immediate past tournament winner during much of the competition's history. All other finalists are determined on a standalone qualifying round achievement without regard to previous achievements.

History[edit]

The berths for the inaugural 1930 tournament were filled by invitation only. The 1934 one was the first one to have an actual qualifying phase. The first ever World Cup qualifying match was played on 11 June 1933, when Sweden defeated Estonia 6–2 in Stockholm, and the first goal was scored 7 minutes into the game, with some sources attributing it to Swedish captain Knut Kroon[citation needed] while others credit it as an own goal by the Estonian goalkeeper.

While the number of teams which qualified for the finals has increased steadily (16 between 1934 and 1978, then 24 between 1982 and 1994, then 32 from 1998 to 2022, and finally 48 starting from 2026), the qualification format has remained relatively unchanged. The teams are grouped by continent and compete for a fixed number of berths, with one or two places awarded to the winners of intercontinental play-offs.

Qualification berths by continent[edit]

The table below lists the numbers of berths allocated by FIFA for each continent in each tournament. It also shows the total number of teams that entered and played in every qualification cycle.

In the table, "H" denotes an automatic spot for the host, "C" denotes an automatic spot for the defending champion, and "inv" indicates the number of teams that were invited in 1930. Places in intercontinental play-offs are represented as fractions, as follows:

  • 0.5 – a place in a direct play-off
  • 0.25 – a place in a semi-final play-off (where the winner would then face yet another team for a spot in the finals)
  • 13 – a place in a play-off tournament where two out of six teams would qualify
Places allocated for continents
Uruguay
1930
[a]
Italy
1934
France
1938
Brazil
1950
Switzerland
1954
Sweden
1958
Chile
1962
England
1966
Mexico
1970
West Germany
1974
Argentina
1978
Spain
1982
Mexico
1986
Italy
1990
United States
1994
France
1998
South Korea
Japan
2002
Germany
2006
South Africa
2010
Brazil
2014
Russia
2018
Qatar
2022
Canada
Mexico
United States
2026
Europe 4 inv 12 11
+H+C
7
+C
11
+H
9[b]
+H+C
8+
2×0.5
9
+H
8
+C
8.5
+H
8.5
+C
13
+H
12.5
+C
13
+H
12
+C
14
+H
13.5
+C
13
+H
13 13 13
+H
13 16
Africa 1 0[c] 1[b] 0.5 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 5 5 5 5
+H
5 5 5 9+13
Asia 1 1 1 0.5 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3.5 2.5
+2H
4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
+H
8+13
Oceania [d] 0[c] 0[c] 0[c] 0[c] 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 1+13
North and Central America
and Caribbean
2 inv 1 1 2 1 1 0.5 1 1
+H
1 1 2 1
+H
2 1.25
+H
3 3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 6+
13
South America H+
6 inv
2 1 4
+H
1
+C
3 3.5
+H+C
3
+C
3 2.5
+C
2.5
+H
3
+C
4 2.5
+C
3.5 4
+C
4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
+H
4.5 4.5 6+13
Total berths 13 16 16 16 16 24 32 48
Teams in the finals 15[e] 13[f]
Entered qualification[g] 32 34 32 37 51 54 69 69 97 105 107 119 111 145 172 196 197 205[h] 203 210 211[i] [j]
Played in qualification[k] 27 21 19 33 46 49 51 68 90 95 103 110 103 128 168 193 194 199[h] 202 208 204[i]
Qualified via qualification 14 10 9 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 22 22 22 22 30 29 31 31 31 31 31
Qualified without playing 13 2 6 7 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 1
Notes
  1. ^ Berths were given by invitation only.
  2. ^ a b Actually the berths were taken by 10 European teams and no African or Asian ones. After Israel won the African/Asian zone without playing due to withdrawals of other teams, a special play-off was arranged between them and a European team, Wales, and was won by the latter.
  3. ^ a b c d e None entered.
  4. ^ No teams from the region were members of FIFA before 1950.
  5. ^ Austria withdrew after having qualified.
  6. ^ India, Scotland and Turkey withdrew after having qualified. France initially accepted to participate as a replacement but then withdrew as well.
  7. ^ Includes all teams that entered qualification, even if they withdrew or were excluded afterwards, or qualified by walkover. Does not include pre-determined automatic qualifiers.
  8. ^ a b Including host South Africa and non-FIFA member Tuvalu, who participated because other tournaments also served as World Cup qualifiers.
  9. ^ a b Including host Qatar, who participated because the continental qualification also served as World Cup qualifiers.
  10. ^ Including non-FIFA member Northern Mariana Islands, who can participate because another tournament will also serve as a World Cup qualifier.
  11. ^ Only includes teams that played at least one qualifying match that was not annulled.

First appearance in qualification by team[edit]

Only teams that played at least one match are considered for the purposes of first appearance. Teams that withdrew prior to the qualification, or that qualified to the World Cup by walkover due to other teams' withdrawals, are not considered.

Year Debuting teams Successor and renamed teams
Europe South America North, Central America and Caribbean Asia Africa Oceania T CT
Italy
1934
 Austria
 Belgium[a]
 Bulgaria
 Czechoslovakia[A]
 Estonia
 France[a]
 Germany[B]
 Greece
 Hungary
 Irish Free State[C]
 Italy[N 1]
 Lithuania
 Luxembourg
 Netherlands
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania[a]
 Spain
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 Yugoslavia[a][D]
none  Cuba
 Haiti
 Mexico[a]
 United States[a]
 Palestine, British Mandate[E]  Egypt[F] none 27 27
France
1938
 Finland
 Latvia
 Norway
none none none none none 3 30
Brazil
1950
 England
 Ireland[G]
 Scotland
 Turkey[b]
 Wales
none none  Syria none none 6 36  Ireland[C]
 Israel[E]
Switzerland
1954
 Saar  Brazil[c]
 Chile[d]
 Paraguay[e]
none  Japan[f]
 South Korea
none none 6 42  Northern Ireland[G]
 Republic of Ireland[C]
 West Germany[B]
Sweden
1958
 Denmark
 East Germany
 Iceland
 Soviet Union[H]
 Argentina[g]
 Bolivia[e]
 Colombia[f]
 Peru[h]
 Uruguay[i]
 Canada
 Costa Rica[f]
 Guatemala
 Territory of Curaçao[I]
 China
 Indonesia[j]
 Sudan none 16 58
Chile
1962
 Cyprus[k]  Ecuador[l]  Dutch Guiana[f][J]
 Honduras
none  Ethiopia
 Ghana
 Morocco
 Nigeria
 Tunisia
none 9 67  Netherlands Antilles[I]
England
1966
 Albania  Venezuela[k]  Jamaica
 Trinidad and Tobago
 North Korea none  Australia 6 73
Mexico
1970
none none  Bermuda
 El Salvador[f]
none  Algeria[m]
 Cameroon[m]
 Libya[m]
 Rhodesia[K]
 Senegal[m]
 Zambia
 New Zealand 9 82
West Germany
1974
 Malta none  Antigua and Barbuda
 Puerto Rico
 Hong Kong
 Iran
 Iraq
 Kuwait
 Malaysia
 South Vietnam[L]
 Thailand
 Congo
 Dahomey[M]
 Guinea[m]
 Ivory Coast
 Kenya
 Lesotho
 Mauritius
 Sierra Leone
 Tanzania
 Togo
 Zaire[N]
none 21 103
Argentina
1978
none none  Barbados
 Dominican Republic
 Guyana
 Panama
 Bahrain
 Qatar
 Republic of China[n][O]
 Saudi Arabia
 Singapore
 Malawi
 Mauritania
 Niger
 Uganda
 Upper Volta[P]
none 14 117  Suriname[J]
Spain
1982
none none  Grenada  Macau  Gambia
 Liberia[m]
 Madagascar[o]
 Mozambique
 Somalia
 Fiji 8 125  Chinese Taipei[O]
 Zimbabwe[K]
Mexico
1986
none none none  Bangladesh
 Brunei
 Jordan
 India[p]
   Nepal
 North Yemen[Q]
 South Yemen
 United Arab Emirates[q]
 Angola none 9 134  Benin[M]
Italy
1990
none none none  Oman[r]
 Pakistan
 Gabon[s] none 3 137  Burkina Faso[P]
United States
1994
 Faroe Islands
 San Marino
none  Nicaragua
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 Lebanon[t]
 Sri Lanka[u]
 Botswana
 Burundi
 Namibia
 South Africa
 Swaziland[R]
 Solomon Islands
 Tahiti
 Vanuatu
15 152  Germany[B]
 Representation of Czechs and Slovaks[A]
 Russia[H]
 Vietnam[L]
 Yemen[Q]
France
1998
 Armenia
 Azerbaijan
 Belarus
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Croatia
 Georgia
 Liechtenstein[v]
 Macedonia[S]
 Moldova
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
 Ukraine
none  Aruba
 Belize
 Cayman Islands
 Dominica
 Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Cambodia
 Kazakhstan
 Kyrgyzstan
 Maldives[w]
 Philippines[x]
 Tajikistan
 Turkmenistan
 Uzbekistan
 Guinea-Bissau
 Rwanda[w]
 Cook Islands
 Papua New Guinea
 Tonga
 Western Samoa[v][T]
31 183  Czech Republic[A]
 DR Congo[N]
 FR Yugoslavia[D]
South KoreaJapan
2002
 Andorra none  Anguilla
 Bahamas[y]
 British Virgin Islands
 Montserrat
 Turks and Caicos Islands
 U.S. Virgin Islands
 Guam
 Laos
 Mongolia
 Palestine
 Cape Verde
 Central African Republic[z]
 Chad
 Djibouti
 Equatorial Guinea
 Eritrea
 Mali[aa]
 São Tomé and Príncipe[v]
 Seychelles
 American Samoa 21 204  Samoa[T]
Germany
2006
none none none  Afghanistan none  New Caledonia 2 206  Serbia and Montenegro[D]
South Africa
2010
 Montenegro none none  Myanmar[ab]
 Timor-Leste
 Comoros  Tuvalu[N 2] 5 211  Serbia[D]
Brazil
2014
none none none none none none 0 211  Curaçao[I]
Russia
2018
 Gibraltar
 Kosovo
none none  Bhutan[ac]  South Sudan none 4 215
Qatar
2022
none none none none none none 0 215  Eswatini[R]
 North Macedonia[S]
CanadaMexicoUnited States
2026
none none none  Northern Mariana Islands[N 3] none none 1 216
Teams' entries prior to their actual debuts in qualification
  1. ^ a b c d e f Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation.
  2. ^ Withdrew from the 1934 qualification before playing.
  3. ^ Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Qualified by walkover for the 1934 and 1938 finals. Qualified automatically for the 1950 World Cup as host.
  4. ^ Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Withdrew from the 1934 qualification before playing. Qualified by walkover for the 1950 finals.
  5. ^ a b Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Qualified by walkover for the 1950 finals.
  6. ^ a b c d e Withdrew from the 1938 qualification before playing.
  7. ^ Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Qualified by walkover for the 1934 finals. Withdrew from the 1938 and 1950 qualifications before playing.
  8. ^ Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Withdrew from the 1934, 1950 and 1954 qualifications before playing.
  9. ^ Participated in the 1930 World Cup as host. Qualified by walkover for the 1950 finals. Qualified automatically for the 1954 finals as defending champion.
  10. ^ Qualified by walkover for the 1938 finals (entered as the  Dutch East Indies). Withdrew from the 1950 qualification before playing.
  11. ^ a b Withdrew from the 1958 qualification before playing.
  12. ^ Withdrew from the 1950 qualification before playing.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Withdrew from the 1966 qualification before playing.
  14. ^ Withdrew from the 1954 and 1958 qualifications before playing.
  15. ^ Withdrew from the 1974 qualification before playing (entered as the  Malagasy Republic).
  16. ^ Qualified by walkover for the 1950 finals, and subsequently withdrew from participation. Withdrew from the 1974 qualification before playing.
  17. ^ Withdrew from the 1978 qualification before playing.
  18. ^ Withdrew from the 1986 qualification before playing.
  19. ^ Withdrew from the 1966 and 1974 qualifications before playing.
  20. ^ Withdrew during the 1986 qualification and had all its matches of that campaign annulled.
  21. ^ Withdrew from the 1974 and 1978 qualifications before playing (entered in 1974 as  Ceylon).
  22. ^ a b c Withdrew from the 1994 qualification before playing.
  23. ^ a b Withdrew from the 1990 qualification before playing.
  24. ^ Withdrew from the 1950 and 1974 qualifications before playing.
  25. ^ Withdrew from the 1998 qualification before playing.
  26. ^ Withdrew from the 1978 qualification before playing. Was disqualified from the 1982 qualification before playing.
  27. ^ Withdrew from the 1966, 1994 and 1998 qualifications before playing.
  28. ^ Withdrew from the 1950, 1994 and 2002 qualifications before playing (entered in 1950 as  Burma).
  29. ^ Withdrew from the 2010 qualification before playing.
Successor and renamed teams
  1. ^ a b c The Czechoslovakia team was officially renamed as the Representation of Czechs and Slovaks during the 1994 qualification, and was then succeeded by the Czech Republic from the 1998 qualification.
  2. ^ a b c Germany was succeeded from the 1954 qualification by West Germany, which in turn was succeeded by the reunified Germany from the 1994 qualification.
  3. ^ a b c The Irish Free State was succeeded in the 1950 qualification by Ireland, which became officially known as the Republic of Ireland from the 1954 qualification.
  4. ^ a b c d Yugoslavia was succeeded from the 1998 qualification by FR Yugoslavia, which was renamed as Serbia and Montenegro for the 2006 qualification and was then succeeded by Serbia from the 2010 qualification.
  5. ^ a b Mandatory Palestine was succeeded by Israel from the 1950 qualification.
  6. ^ Egypt was later succeeded by the  United Arab Republic, a political union with Syria, which entered the 1962 qualification, but withdrew before playing. Then Egypt continued independently but retained the name "United Arab Republic", under which it entered the 1966 qualification and also withdrew before playing. It was renamed back as "Egypt" from the 1974 qualification.
  7. ^ a b Ireland was succeeded by Northern Ireland from the 1954 qualification.
  8. ^ a b The Soviet Union was succeeded by Russia from the 1994 qualification.
  9. ^ a b c The Territory of Curaçao was succeeded from the 1962 qualification by the Netherlands Antilles, which in turn was succeeded by Curaçao from the 2014 qualification.
  10. ^ a b Dutch Guiana was succeeded by Suriname from the 1978 qualification.
  11. ^ a b Rhodesia was succeeded by Zimbabwe from the 1982 qualification.
  12. ^ a b South Vietnam was succeeded by Vietnam from the 1994 qualification.
  13. ^ a b Dahomey was renamed as Benin from the 1986 qualification.
  14. ^ a b Zaire was renamed as DR Congo during the 1998 qualification.
  15. ^ a b The Republic of China became officially known as Chinese Taipei from the 1982 qualification.
  16. ^ a b Upper Volta was renamed as Burkina Faso from the 1990 qualification.
  17. ^ a b North Yemen was succeeded by Yemen from the 1994 qualification.
  18. ^ a b Swaziland was renamed as Eswatini from the 2022 qualification.
  19. ^ a b Macedonia was renamed as North Macedonia from the 2022 qualification.
  20. ^ a b Western Samoa was renamed as Samoa from the 2002 qualification.
Other notes
  1. ^ Italy had to qualify for the 1934 tournament despite being the host.
  2. ^ Tuvalu, a non-FIFA member, formally could not enter the 2010 World Cup, but the team participated in the 2007 South Pacific Games which doubled as a stage of the qualification for that World Cup, and the team's results did count in determining advancement from that stage.
  3. ^ Northern Mariana Islands, a non-FIFA member, formally could not enter the 2026 World Cup, but the team can participate in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup qualification whose first two rounds double as stages of the qualification for that World Cup, and the team's results will count in determining advancement from those stages.

Overview of teams' participations[edit]

The below table shows how every team has participated in each World Cup qualification.

Key

  • golden background = successful qualifying campaign
  • grey background = did not take part in qualifying
  • bold red typeface = participated in the final tournament
Q Qualified
w Qualified, then withdrew from the finals (Austria in 1938, and Scotland and Turkey in 1950)
n Did not qualify
w Withdrew during qualifying
d Was disqualified during qualifying
H Qualified automatically as host but took part in qualifiers as they doubled as continental qualifiers (South Africa in 2010 and Qatar in 2022)
\ Was not a FIFA member but took part in qualifiers as they doubled as regional tournament (Tuvalu in 2010)
b Received bye to the finals
B Received bye to the finals, then withdrew (India in 1950)
H Qualified automatically as host
C Qualified automatically as reigning champion
i Was invited to the finals (all finalists in 1930 except Uruguay)
w Entered but withdrew before playing, or withdrew during qualifying and had all matches annulled
d Entered but was disqualified before playing, or was disqualified during qualifying and had all matches annulled
s Was suspended from entering, or had entry rejected
Did not enter despite being a FIFA member
Was not a FIFA member
Team 19
30
19
34
19
38
19
50
19
54
19
58
19
62
19
66
19
70
19
74
19
78
19
82
19
86
19
90
19
94
19
98
20
02
20
06
20
10
20
14
20
18
20
22
Current
confederation[I]
 Afghanistan n n n n n AFC
 Albania n s n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Algeria w n n n Q Q n n n n n Q Q n n CAF
 American Samoa n n n n n w OFC
 Andorra n n n n n n UEFA
 Angola n n n n n Q n n n n CAF
 Anguilla n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Antigua and Barbuda n n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Argentina i b w w Q Q Q n Q H C Q C Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q CONMEBOL
 Armenia n n n n n n n UEFA
 Aruba n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Australia n n Q n n n n n n n Q Q Q Q Q AFC[II]
 Austria Q w w Q Q n n n Q Q n Q n Q n n n n n n UEFA
 Azerbaijan n n n n n n n UEFA
 Bahamas w n n n w n n CONCACAF
 Bahrain n n n w n n n n n n n n AFC
 Bangladesh n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Barbados n w n n n n n n d n CONCACAF
 Belarus n n n n n n n UEFA
 Belgium i Q Q w Q n n n Q n n Q Q Q Q Q Q n n Q Q Q UEFA
 Belize s n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Benin (1978–)
 Dahomey (1970–1974)
n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Bermuda n n w n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Bhutan w n n AFC
 Bolivia i b s n n n n n n n n n Q n n n n n n n CONMEBOL
 Bosnia and Herzegovina n n n n Q n n UEFA
 Botswana n n n n n n n CAF
 Brazil i b b H Q Q C C Q C Q Q Q Q Q C Q Q Q H Q Q CONMEBOL
 British Virgin Islands n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Brunei n n s n n AFC
 Bulgaria w n n n Q Q Q Q n n Q n Q Q n n n n n n UEFA
 Burkina Faso (1986–)
 Upper Volta (1970–1982)
n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Burundi n w w n n n n n CAF
 Cambodia[i] n n n n n n AFC
 Cameroon w n n n Q n Q Q Q Q n Q Q n Q CAF
 Canada n w n n n n Q n n n n n n n n Q CONCACAF
 Cape Verde n n n n n n CAF
 Cayman Islands n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Central African Republic w d n w w n n n CAF
 Chad n n n n n n CAF
 Chile i w b n n H Q n Q n Q n n s Q n n Q Q n n CONMEBOL
 China n n n n n n Q n n n n n AFC
 Chinese Taipei (1982–)
 Republic of China (1954–1978)
w w n n n n n n n n n n n n AFC[III]
 Colombia w n Q n n n n n n Q Q Q n n n Q Q n CONMEBOL[IV]
 Comoros n n n n CAF
 Congo s n n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Cook Islands n n n n n n w OFC
 Costa Rica w s n n n n n n n n Q n n Q Q n Q Q Q CONCACAF
 Croatia Q Q Q n Q Q Q UEFA
 Cuba n b n s n s n n n w n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Curaçao (2014–)
 Netherlands Antilles (1962–2010)
 Territory of Curaçao (1934–1958)
n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Cyprus w n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA[V]
 Czech Republic (1998–)
 Representation of Czechs and Slovaks (1994)
 Czechoslovakia (1930–1994)
Q Q Q Q Q n Q n n Q n Q n n n Q n n n n UEFA
 Denmark n n n n n n Q n n Q Q n Q n Q Q UEFA
 Djibouti n n n n n CAF
 Dominica n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Dominican Republic n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 DR Congo (1998–)
 Zaire (1974–1998)[ii]
s Q w n n n n n n n n n n CAF
 East Germany n n n n Q n n n n defunct[VI]
 Ecuador w n n n n n n n n n n Q Q n Q n Q CONMEBOL
 Egypt[iii] Q w n w w w n n n n Q n n n n n n Q n CAF[VII]
 El Salvador w Q n n Q n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 England Q Q Q Q H C n n Q Q Q n Q Q Q Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Equatorial Guinea n n n n n n CAF
 Eritrea n n w n n n CAF
 Estonia n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Eswatini (2022–)
 Swaziland (1982–2018)
n n n n n n n n CAF
 Ethiopia s n w n n n n n n n n d n n n CAF[VIII]
 Faroe Islands n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Fiji n n n n n n n n n n OFC
 Finland n w n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 France i Q H n Q Q n Q n n Q Q Q n n H C Q Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Gabon w w n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Gambia n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Georgia n n n n n n n UEFA
 Germany (1994–)
 West Germany (1950–1990)
 Germany (1930–1938)
Q Q s Q C Q Q Q H C Q Q Q C Q Q H Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Ghana n w n n n w n n n n n Q Q Q n Q CAF
 Gibraltar n n UEFA
 Greece w n n n n n n n n n n n Q n n n Q Q n n UEFA
 Grenada n w n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Guam n w w n n AFC
 Guatemala n n s n n n n n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Guinea w s n n n n n n n d n n n n n CAF
 Guinea-Bissau n n n n n n n CAF
 Guyana n n n n n n d n n n n n CONCACAF
 Haiti n n n Q n n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Honduras n n n n w Q n n n n n n Q Q n n CONCACAF
 Hong Kong n n n n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Hungary Q Q b Q Q Q n n Q Q Q n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Iceland s n n n n n n n n n n n n Q n UEFA
 India B s w n w n n n n n n n n AFC
 Indonesia[iv] b w w w n n n n n n n n n n n d n AFC
 Iran n Q w d n n Q n Q n Q Q Q AFC
 Iraq n w n Q n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Israel (1950–)
 Palestine, British Mandate (1930–1938)
n n n n n n n Q n n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA[IX]
 Italy Q C C Q n Q Q Q Q Q Q C H Q Q Q Q Q Q n n UEFA
 Ivory Coast n n n n n n n Q Q Q n n CAF
 Jamaica n n w n d n n Q n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Japan w s n n n n n n n n n Q H Q Q Q Q Q AFC
 Jordan n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Kazakhstan n n n n n n n UEFA[X]
 Kenya n n n n n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Kosovo n n UEFA
 Kuwait n n Q n n n n n n n n d n AFC
 Kyrgyzstan n n n n n n n AFC
 Laos n n n n n AFC
 Latvia n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Lebanon w n n n n n n n n AFC
 Lesotho n n w w n n n n n n CAF
 Liberia w n n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Libya w n n w n w w n n n n n n CAF
 Liechtenstein w n n n n n n n UEFA
 Lithuania n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Luxembourg n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Macau n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Madagascar[v] w n n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Malawi n n n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Malaysia[vi] n n n n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Maldives w n n n n n n n AFC
 Mali w w w n n n n n n CAF
 Malta n n n n n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Mauritania n w n n n n n n CAF
 Mauritius n n s n n n n w n n CAF
 Mexico i n w Q Q Q Q Q H n Q n H d Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q CONCACAF
 Moldova n n n n n n n UEFA
 Mongolia n n n n n n AFC
 Montenegro n n n n UEFA
 Montserrat n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Morocco n w Q w n n Q n Q Q n n n n Q Q CAF
 Mozambique n s n n n n n n n n CAF
 Myanmar[vii] w w w s n n n n AFC
 Namibia n n n n n n n n CAF
   Nepal n n n n w n n n n AFC
 Netherlands Q Q n n n n Q Q n n Q Q Q n Q Q Q n Q UEFA
 New Caledonia n n n n n OFC
 New Zealand n n n Q n n n n n n Q n n n OFC
 Nicaragua n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Niger n n w n w n n n n n CAF
 Nigeria n w n n n n n n Q Q Q n Q Q Q n CAF
 North Korea Q d n w n n n n n Q n n w AFC
 North Macedonia (2022–)
 Macedonia (1998–2018)
n n n n n n n UEFA
 Northern Ireland (1954–)
 Ireland (1950)
n n Q n n n n n Q Q n n n n n n n n n UEFA
 Norway Q n n n n n n n n n n Q Q n n n n n n UEFA
 Oman w n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Pakistan n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Palestine n n n n n n AFC
 Panama n n n n n n n n n n Q n CONCACAF
 Papua New Guinea n n n n n OFC
 Paraguay i b n Q n n n n n n Q n n Q Q Q Q n n n CONMEBOL
 Peru i w w w n n n Q n Q Q n n n n n n n n Q n CONMEBOL
 Philippines w s w n n n n n AFC
 Poland n Q w n n n n Q Q Q Q n n n Q Q n n Q Q UEFA
 Portugal n n n n n n Q n n n n Q n n n Q Q Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Puerto Rico n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Qatar n n n n n n n n n n n H AFC
 Republic of Ireland (1954–)
 Ireland (1950)
 Irish Free State (1930–1938)
n n n n n n n n n n n n Q Q n Q n n n n n UEFA
 Romania i Q b n n w n Q n n n n Q Q Q n n n n n n UEFA
 Russia (1994–)
 Soviet Union (1950–1990)
Q Q Q Q d n Q Q Q Q n Q n n Q H d UEFA
 Rwanda w n n n n n n n CAF
 Saar n defunct[VI]
 Saint Kitts and Nevis n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Saint Lucia n n n n n n n w CONCACAF
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Samoa (2002–)
 Western Samoa (1990–1998)
w n n n n n n w OFC
 San Marino n n n n n n n n UEFA
 São Tomé and Príncipe w n n w n n n CAF
 Saudi Arabia n n n n Q Q Q Q n n Q Q AFC
 Scotland w Q Q n n n Q Q Q Q Q n Q n n n n n n UEFA
 Senegal w n n n n n n n Q n n n Q Q CAF
 Serbia (2010–)
 Serbia and Montenegro (2006)
 FR Yugoslavia (1994–2002)
 SFR Yugoslavia (1950–1990)
 Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1930–1938)
i n n Q Q Q Q n n Q n Q n Q d Q n Q Q n Q Q UEFA
 Seychelles n n n n n n CAF
 Sierra Leone n n n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Singapore n n n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Slovakia n n n Q n n n UEFA
 Slovenia n Q n Q n n n UEFA
 Solomon Islands n n n n n n n n OFC
 Somalia n n n n n n n CAF
 South Africa s d s s s n Q Q n H n n n CAF
 South Korea Q s n w n n n n Q Q Q Q H Q Q Q Q Q AFC
 South Sudan n n CAF
 South Yemen n w defunct[XI]
 Spain Q s Q n n Q Q n n Q H Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Sri Lanka[viii] w w n n n n n n n n AFC
 Sudan w w w n n w n n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Suriname (1978–)
 Dutch Guiana (1930–1974)
w n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Sweden Q Q Q n H n n Q Q Q n n Q Q n Q Q n n Q n UEFA
 Switzerland Q Q Q H n Q Q n n n n n n Q n n Q Q Q Q Q UEFA
 Syria w n w n n n n n n n n n n d n n AFC[XII]
 Tahiti n n n n n n n n OFC
 Tajikistan n n n n n n n AFC
 Tanzania n w n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Thailand n n n n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Timor-Leste n n n n AFC
 Togo n n n w w n n n Q n n n n CAF
 Tonga n n n n n n w OFC
 Trinidad and Tobago n n n n n n n n n n Q n n n n CONCACAF
 Tunisia n w n n Q n n n n Q Q Q n n Q Q CAF
 Turkey w w Q w n n n n n n n n n n Q n n n n n UEFA[XIII]
 Turkmenistan n n n n n n n AFC
 Turks and Caicos Islands n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Tuvalu \ OFC
 Uganda n w n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Ukraine n n Q n n n n UEFA
 United Arab Emirates w n Q n n n n n n n n AFC
 United States i Q w Q n n n n n n n n n Q H Q Q Q Q Q n Q CONCACAF
 U.S. Virgin Islands n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Uruguay H b C n Q Q Q Q n n Q Q n n Q n Q Q Q Q CONMEBOL
 Uzbekistan n n n n n n n AFC
 Vanuatu n n n n n n n w OFC
 Venezuela w n n w n n n n n n n n n n n n CONMEBOL
 Vietnam (1978–)
 South Vietnam (1954–1974)
s n w n n n n n n n n AFC
 Wales n n Q n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n Q UEFA
 Yemen (1994–)
 North Yemen (1982–1990)
n n n n n n n n n n AFC
 Zambia n n n n n n n n n n n n n n CAF
 Zimbabwe (1982–)
 Rhodesia (1970–1978)
n n n n n n n n n n d n CAF[XIV]
Team 19
30
19
34
19
38
19
50
19
54
19
58
19
62
19
66
19
70
19
74
19
78
19
82
19
86
19
90
19
94
19
98
20
02
20
06
20
10
20
14
20
18
20
22
Current
confederation
Non-participating incarnations
  1. ^ Known as the  Khmer Republic in 1974, and then as  Kampuchea until 1990.
  2. ^ Known as  Congo-Kinshasa until 1970.
  3. ^ Entered in 1962 as the  United Arab Republic representing a political union with Syria. After that continued independently but retained the name "United Arab Republic" until 1970.
  4. ^ Entered as the  Dutch East Indies in 1938.
  5. ^ Known as the  Malagasy Republic until 1974.
  6. ^ Preceded by  Malaya until 1962.
  7. ^ Known as  Burma until 1990.
  8. ^ Known as  Ceylon until 1974.
Continental allocations
  1. ^ Africa and Asia had a joint zone in 1934 and 1958. Africa, Asia and Oceania had a joint zone in 1966. Asia and Oceania had a joint zone in 1970–1982.
  2. ^ Entered the Oceanian zone in 1986–2006.
  3. ^ Entered the Oceanian zone in 1986–1990.
  4. ^ Entered the North and Central American zone in 1938.
  5. ^ Entered the African/Asian zone in 1958.
  6. ^ a b Participated in the European zone.
  7. ^ Entered the European zone in 1938 and 1954.
  8. ^ Entered the European zone in 1962.
  9. ^ Entered the African/Asian zone in 1934 and 1958, the Asian/Oceanian zone in 1970–1978, and the Oceanian zone in 1986–1990.
  10. ^ Entered the Asian zone in 1998–2002.
  11. ^ Participated in the Asian zone.
  12. ^ Entered the European zone in 1950 and 1966.
  13. ^ Entered the African/Asian zone in 1934 and 1958.
  14. ^ Entered the Asian/Oceanian zone in 1970.

Overall team records[edit]

The below table compares the overall records of all teams that have participated in qualification. Teams are ordered by points using the three points for a win system, then by goal difference, and then by goals scored. Note that this order does not represent any official rankings, and qualification tournaments are not direct competitions among all teams.

The "Qualifying attempts" column counts qualifying campaigns where the team played at least one match that was not annulled. An attempt is treated as "successful" if the team gained the right to participate in the finals, even if it did not appear there eventually.

As per statistical convention in football, goals scored during extra time are counted towards matches' scorelines and outcomes, while goals scored during penalty shoot-outs are not. Annulled matches are not counted; for matches that were annulled and then replayed, only the replays are counted. For matches where the scorelines were awarded, the awarded scorelines, and not the original ones (if any), are counted.

Key
Team has qualified for the main tournament through a qualifying process
Team has qualified for the main tournament only by walkover (Cuba, and Indonesia as Dutch East Indies)
Team has qualified for the main tournament by walkover but has not participated there because it withdrew (India)
Team has qualified for the main tournament only automatically as host (Qatar)
Team has not qualified for the main tournament
Defunct team that qualified for the main tournament (East Germany)
Defunct team that never qualified for the main tournament (Saar and South Yemen)
Team is not a member of FIFA and is not eligible for the main tournament (Tuvalu)

The table is updated to the 2022 qualification.

No. Team Qualifying attempts Appearances
in the finals
Overall qualification record Points Confederation
Total Successful Pld W D L GF GA GD Total Avg
1  Mexico 17 14 17 189 121 41 27 453 134 +319 404 2.138 CONCACAF
2  Costa Rica 17 6 6 187 93 47 47 309 184 +125 326 1.743 CONCACAF
3  Australia 15 6 6 161 95 40 26 407 125 +282 325 2.019 AFC
4  South Korea 15 10 11 151 94 39 18 299 90 +209 321 2.126 AFC
5  Iran 11 6 6 146 92 35 19 316 89 +227 311 2.130 AFC
6  Argentina 14 13 18 153 86 42 25 262 135 +127 300 1.961 CONMEBOL
7  Netherlands 19 11 11 135 89 26 20 329 101 +228 293 2.170 UEFA
8  United States 19 9 11 168 84 40 44 287 191 +96 292 1.738 CONCACAF
9  Spain 19 15 16 125 87 26 12 291 81 +210 287 2.296 UEFA
10  Portugal 21 8 8 149 83 35 31 284 146 +138 284 1.906 UEFA
11  England 17 14 16 122 84 27 11 314 70 +244 279 2.287 UEFA
12  Brazil 13 13 22 127 82 33 12 280 75 +205 279 2.197 CONMEBOL
13  Sweden 20 11 12 141 86 21 34 280 129 +151 279 1.979 UEFA
14  Uruguay 17 11 14 172 77 46 49 240 186 +54 277 1.610 CONMEBOL
15  Japan 15 6 7 138 83 27 28 305 91 +214 276 2.000 AFC
16  Serbia
 Serbia and Montenegro
 FR Yugoslavia
 SFR Yugoslavia
 Kingdom of Yugoslavia
20 12 13 136 81 33 22 287 123 +164 276 2.029 UEFA
17  Belgium 20 13 14 141 83 27 31 302 147 +155 276 1.957 UEFA
18  Saudi Arabia 12 6 6 136 81 32 23 266 103 +163 275 2.022 AFC
19  Czech Republic
 Representation of Czechs and Slovaks
 Czechoslovakia
20 9 9 147 79 31 37 280 126 +154 268 1.823 UEFA
20  Germany
 West Germany
 Germany
15 15 20 104 83 18 3 328 74 +254 267 2.567 UEFA
21  Russia
 Soviet Union
16 10 11 125 80 24 21 246 81 +165 264 2.112 UEFA
22  Italy 17 14 18 118 78 30 10 234 72 +162 264 2.237 UEFA
23  Honduras 15 3 3 164 69 44 51 262 199 +63 251 1.530 CONCACAF
24  Romania 18 5 7 138 72 29 37 238 142 +96 245 1.775 UEFA
25  Paraguay 18 6 8 172 69 37 66 213 215 −2 244 1.419 CONMEBOL
26  El Salvador 14 2 2 160 70 33 57 260 187 +73 243 1.519 CONCACAF
27  Switzerland 20 11 12 140 68 37 35 220 150 +70 241 1.721 UEFA
28  Colombia 17 6 6 170 62 54 54 200 178 +22 240 1.412 CONMEBOL
29  China 12 1 1 126 73 20 33 269 96 +173 239 1.897 AFC
30  Scotland 19 9 8 136 69 30 37 210 146 +64 237 1.743 UEFA
31  France 18 12 16 119 70 26 23 234 91 +143 236 1.983 UEFA
32  Denmark 16 6 6 132 67 30 35 242 144 +98 231 1.750 UEFA
33  Chile 16 6 9 164 66 33 65 236 221 +15 231 1.409 CONMEBOL
34  Poland 19 9 9 128 67 23 38 260 154 +106 224 1.750 UEFA
35  Canada 15 2 2 137 62 38 37 215 144 +71 224 1.635 CONCACAF
36  Austria 19 8 7 134 64 29 41 232 155 +77 221 1.649 UEFA
37  Republic of Ireland
 Ireland
 Irish Free State
21 3 3 149 58 46 45 210 177 +33 220 1.477 UEFA
38  Nigeria 15 6 6 112 62 32 18 185 84 +101 218 1.946 CAF
39  Hungary 19 8 9 132 63 28 41 235 176 +59 217 1.644 UEFA
40  Tunisia 15 6 6 112 62 30 20 192 86 +106 216 1.929 CAF
41  Bulgaria 20 7 7 137 62 29 46 215 191 +24 215 1.569 UEFA
42  Morocco 15 6 6 119 58 39 22 175 83 +92 213 1.790 CAF
43  Greece 20 3 3 136 56 33 47 167 179 −12 201 1.478 UEFA
44  Trinidad and Tobago 15 1 1 141 57 29 55 207 184 +23 200 1.418 CONCACAF
45  Ecuador 16 4 4 161 54 38 69 196 221 −25 200 1.242 CONMEBOL
46  Iraq 12 1 1 119 54 32 33 221 119 +102 194 1.630 AFC
47  Qatar 12 0 1 120 57 23 40 199 122 +77 194 1.617 AFC
48  Cameroon 14 8 8 95 57 22 16 158 71 +87 193 2.032 CAF
49  New Zealand 14 2 2 102 58 18 26 239 101 +138 192 1.882 OFC
50  Egypt 15 3 3 101 57 21 23 176 94 +82 192 1.901 CAF
51  Peru 17 4 5 168 50 41 77 183 233 −50 191 1.137 CONMEBOL
52  Guatemala 16 0 0 126 52 32 42 208 150 +58 188 1.492 CONCACAF
53  Turkey 18 3 2 139 53 27 59 204 206 −2 186 1.338 UEFA
54  Uzbekistan 7 0 0 102 54 19 29 195 104 +91 181 1.775 AFC
55  Norway 19 3 3 136 49 33 54 185 186 −1 180 1.324 UEFA
56  United Arab Emirates 10 1 1 116 51 23 42 194 127 +67 176 1.517 AFC
57  Northern Ireland
 Ireland
19 3 3 142 45 39 58 155 168 −13 174 1.225 UEFA
58  Kuwait 13 1 1 101 52 16 33 179 99 +80 172 1.703 AFC
59  Israel
 Palestine, British Mandate
21 1 1 132 45 35 52 189 199 −10 170 1.288 UEFA
60  Zambia 14 0 0 102 47 21 34 153 97 +56 162 1.588 CAF
61  Ivory Coast 12 3 3 84 45 26 13 154 70 +84 161 1.917 CAF
62  Bolivia 17 1 3 168 43 32 93 200 326 −126 161 0.958 CONMEBOL
63  Algeria 14 4 4 97 45 25 27 153 97 +56 160 1.649 CAF
64  Wales 19 2 2 130 43 29 58 168 180 −12 158 1.215 UEFA
65  Ghana 14 4 4 91 44 25 22 140 70 +70 157 1.725 CAF
66  Syria 15 0 0 102 44 23 35 205 120 +85 155 1.520 AFC
67  Croatia 7 6 6 72 43 20 9 129 51 +78 149 2.069 UEFA
68  Jamaica 12 1 1 118 39 32 47 127 154 −27 149 1.263 CONCACAF
69  Haiti 15 1 1 95 42 17 36 165 124 +41 143 1.505 CONCACAF
70  Ukraine 7 1 1 80 38 28 14 122 62 +60 142 1.775 UEFA
71  Panama 12 1 1 114 38 26 50 142 178 −36 140 1.228 CONCACAF
72  Oman 9 0 0 88 39 21 28 142 86 +56 138 1.568 AFC
73  DR Congo
 Zaire
11 1 1 84 39 20 25 139 92 +47 137 1.631 CAF
74  North Korea 10 2 2 83 39 19 25 116 77 +39 136 1.639 AFC
75  Bahrain 11 0 0 96 35 28 33 120 98 +22 133 1.385 AFC
76  Finland 20 0 0 137 35 25 77 144 297 −153 130 0.949 UEFA
77  Slovakia 7 1 1 74 35 19 20 127 74 +53 124 1.676 UEFA
78  Senegal 13 3 3 71 32 23 16 106 61 +45 119 1.676 CAF
79  Guinea 13 0 0 81 35 14 32 119 108 +11 119 1.469 CAF
80  Jordan 10 0 0 78 32 16 30 118 95 +23 112 1.436 AFC
81  Iceland 14 1 1 116 30 22 64 128 233 −105 112 0.966 UEFA
82  Venezuela 14 0 0 158 28 26 104 134 348 −214 110 0.696 CONMEBOL
83  South Africa 8 2 3 56 32 9 15 72 47 +25 105 1.875 CAF
84  Angola 10 1 1 69 27 24 18 88 66 +22 105 1.522 CAF
85  Slovenia 7 2 2 72 29 17 26 94 80 +14 104 1.444 UEFA
86  Bosnia and Herzegovina 7 1 1 66 29 14 23 121 81 +40 101 1.530 UEFA
87  Burkina Faso
 Upper Volta
9 0 0 66 29 13 24 99 82 +17 100 1.515 CAF
88  Thailand 13 0 0 97 26 21 50 125 165 −40 99 1.021 AFC
89  Kenya 13 0 0 74 24 19 31 81 100 −19 91 1.230 CAF
90  Togo 11 1 1 71 24 17 30 76 93 −17 89 1.254 CAF
91  Hong Kong 13 0 0 81 24 16 41 95 141 −46 88 1.086 AFC
92  Lebanon 8 0 0 72 23 18 31 103 98 +5 87 1.208 AFC
93  Cuba 13 0 1 72 22 20 30 92 105 −13 86 1.194 CONCACAF
94  Albania 13 0 0 114 24 14 76 84 200 −116 86 0.754 UEFA
95  Zimbabwe
 Rhodesia
11 0 0 69 22 18 29 67 84 −17 84 1.217 CAF
96  Libya 11 0 0 62 23 14 25 67 69 −2 83 1.339 CAF
97  Malaysia 13 0 0 69 23 13 33 95 124 −29 82 1.188 AFC
98  Gabon 9 0 0 63 23 12 28 64 73 −9 81 1.286 CAF
99  Latvia 9 0 0 85 21 18 46 93 144 −51 81 0.953 UEFA
100  Suriname
 Dutch Guiana
15 0 0 69 22 14 33 106 115 −9 80 1.159 CONCACAF
101  Congo 10 0 0 68 21 16 31 75 93 −18 79 1.162 CAF
102  Solomon Islands 8 0 0 57 23 9 25 118 121 −3 78 1.368 OFC
103  North Macedonia
 Macedonia
7 0 0 72 20 15 37 95 115 −20 75 1.042 UEFA
104  East Germany 9 1 1 47 22 8 17 87 65 +22 74 1.574 defunct
105  Singapore 12 0 0 76 21 11 44 81 143 −62 74 0.974 AFC
106  Indonesia
 Dutch East Indies
13 0 1 79 19 17 43 92 170 −78 74 0.937 AFC
107  Fiji 10 0 0 56 21 10 25 114 105 +9 73 1.304 OFC
108  Mali 6 0 0 48 19 13 16 61 53 +8 70 1.458 CAF
109  Lithuania 10 0 0 81 18 16 47 63 130 −67 70 0.864 UEFA
110  Sudan 13 0 0 72 16 21 35 64 114 −50 69 0.958 CAF
111  Curaçao
 Netherlands Antilles
 Territory of Curaçao
17 0 0 66 16 20 30 69 119 −50 68 1.030 CONCACAF
112  Liberia 10 0 0 66 18 12 36 47 94 −47 66 1.000 CAF
113  Turkmenistan 7 0 0 46 20 5 21 72 70 +2 65 1.413 AFC
114  Malawi 11 0 0 66 16 17 33 59 95 −36 65 0.985 CAF
115  Uganda 10 0 0 48 17 12 19 44 59 −15 63 1.312 CAF
116  Estonia 10 0 0 84 17 12 55 74 187 −113 63 0.750 UEFA
117  Cyprus 16 0 0 124 16 15 93 91 320 −229 63 0.508 UEFA
118  New Caledonia 5 0 0 38 18 8 12 89 46 +43 62 1.632 OFC
119  Tajikistan 7 0 0 44 17 8 19 77 67 +10 59 1.341 AFC
120  Tahiti 8 0 0 45 17 8 20 67 85 −18 59 1.311 OFC
121  Bermuda 8 0 0 40 16 10 14 83 58 +25 58 1.450 CONCACAF
122  Vietnam
 South Vietnam
9 0 0 59 17 6 36 64 105 −41 57 0.966 AFC
123  Benin
 Dahomey
9 0 0 50 16 8 26 51 93 −42 56 1.120 CAF
124  Armenia 7 0 0 72 13 17 42 61 142 −81 56 0.778 UEFA
125  Belarus 7 0 0 66 14 12 40 68 121 −53 54 0.818 UEFA
126  Cape Verde 6 0 0 40 16 5 19 42 52 −10 53 1.325 CAF
127  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8 0 0 62 15 8 39 80 186 −106 53 0.855 CONCACAF
128  Montenegro 4 0 0 40 13 13 14 61 58 +3 52 1.300 UEFA
129  Yemen
 North Yemen
10 0 0 58 13 13 32 58 98 −40 52 0.897 AFC
130  Antigua and Barbuda 11 0 0 46 15 6 25 72 98 −26 51 1.109 CONCACAF
131  Saint Kitts and Nevis 7 0 0 36 14 8 14 72 62 +10 50 1.389 CONCACAF
132  Kyrgyzstan 7 0 0 39 15 5 19 57 61 −4 50 1.282 AFC
133  Georgia 7 0 0 64 11 17 36 57 101 −44 50 0.781 UEFA
134  Kazakhstan 7 0 0 68 12 14 42 76 148 −72 50 0.735 UEFA
135  Madagascar 10 0 0 42 13 9 20 49 60 −11 48 1.143 CAF
136  India 9 0 0 51 11 15 25 49 94 −45 48 0.941 AFC
137  Ethiopia 12 0 0 49 11 14 24 52 73 −21 47 0.959 CAF
138  Namibia 8 0 0 50 12 11 27 46 93 −47 47 0.940 CAF
139  Sierra Leone 11 0 0 47 12 9 26 41 72 −31 45 0.957 CAF
140  Palestine 6 0 0 34 12 7 15 58 46 +12 43 1.265 AFC
141  Dominican Republic 9 0 0 33 12 6 15 50 54 −4 42 1.273 CONCACAF
142  Mozambique 9 0 0 42 11 9 22 35 58 −23 42 1.000 CAF
143  Tanzania 10 0 0 41 9 14 18 43 60 −17 41 1.000 CAF
144  Vanuatu 7 0 0 37 12 3 22 76 89 −13 39 1.054 OFC
145  Niger 8 0 0 36 11 6 19 40 65 −25 39 1.083 CAF
146  Barbados 9 0 0 41 11 6 24 38 76 −38 39 0.951 CONCACAF
147  Bangladesh 10 0 0 58 10 8 40 37 141 −104 38 0.655 AFC
148  Botswana 7 0 0 36 10 6 20 33 53 −20 36 1.000 CAF
149  Azerbaijan 7 0 0 66 7 15 44 34 122 −88 36 0.545 UEFA
150  Rwanda 7 0 0 44 8 10 26 41 63 −22 34 0.773 CAF
151  Luxembourg 21 0 0 142 8 10 124 77 451 −374 34 0.239 UEFA
152  Papua New Guinea 5 0 0 26 9 6 11 48 41 +7 33 1.269 OFC
153  Faroe Islands 8 0 0 80 8 8 64 41 207 −166 32 0.400 UEFA
154  Belize 7 0 0 29 8 6 15 37 59 −22 30 1.034 CONCACAF
155  Guyana 11 0 0 38 8 6 24 40 89 −49 30 0.789 CONCACAF
156  Maldives 7 0 0 40 9 3 28 43 140 −97 30 0.750 AFC
157  Equatorial Guinea 6 0 0 28 8 5 15 25 42 −17 29 1.036 CAF
158  Nicaragua 8 0 0 25 9 1 15 35 45 −10 28 1.120 CONCACAF
159  Puerto Rico 10 0 0 29 7 7 15 32 57 −25 28 0.966 CONCACAF
160  Samoa
 Western Samoa
6 0 0 26 9 1 16 37 88 −51 28 1.077 OFC
161  Moldova 7 0 0 68 5 13 50 40 145 −105 28 0.412 UEFA
162  Grenada 8 0 0 29 8 3 18 51 59 −8 27 0.931 CONCACAF
163  Burundi 7 0 0 22 7 5 10 19 28 −9 26 1.182 CAF
164  Philippines 5 0 0 29 7 5 17 28 68 −40 26 0.897 AFC
165  Gambia 9 0 0 26 6 6 14 21 39 −18 24 0.923 CAF
166  Saint Lucia 7 0 0 24 7 1 16 32 62 −30 22 0.917 CONCACAF
167  Tonga 6 0 0 22 7 1 14 23 82 −59 22 1.000 OFC
168    Nepal 8 0 0 38 6 4 28 27 122 −95 22 0.579 AFC
169  Chinese Taipei
 Republic of China
12 0 0 66 6 4 56 39 234 −195 22 0.333 AFC
170  Malta 13 0 0 112 3 12 97 42 330 −288 21 0.188 UEFA
171  Chad 6 0 0 18 6 2 10 16 26 −10 20 1.111 CAF
172  Guinea-Bissau 7 0 0 20 4 7 9 16 31 −15 19 0.950 CAF
173  Mongolia 6 0 0 24 6 1 17 17 75 −58 19 0.792 AFC
174  Sri Lanka 8 0 0 39 4 6 29 26 99 −73 18 0.462 AFC
175  Eswatini
 Swaziland
8 0 0 21 4 5 12 16 41 −25 17 0.810 CAF
176  Dominica 7 0 0 24 4 5 15 20 58 −38 17 0.708 CONCACAF
177  Myanmar 4 0 0 22 5 2 15 17 73 −56 17 0.773 AFC
178  Aruba 7 0 0 20 5 1 14 26 61 −35 16 0.800 CONCACAF
179  Lesotho 8 0 0 26 2 10 14 15 52 −37 16 0.615 CAF
180  Bahamas 6 0 0 18 4 4 10 20 58 −38 16 0.889 CONCACAF
181  Afghanistan 5 0 0 22 4 4 14 15 60 −45 16 0.727 AFC
182  Cambodia 6 0 0 36 4 4 28 22 135 −113 16 0.444 AFC
183  Andorra 6 0 0 62 4 3 55 22 186 −164 15 0.242 UEFA
184  Macau 10 0 0 37 4 2 31 16 168 −152 14 0.378 AFC
185  Laos 5 0 0 28 3 4 21 23 125 −102 13 0.464 AFC
186  Liechtenstein 7 0 0 70 2 7 61 25 219 −194 13 0.186 UEFA
187  Mauritania 7 0 0 22 2 5 15 15 42 −27 11 0.500 CAF
188  Cook Islands 6 0 0 20 3 1 16 16 63 −47 10 0.500 OFC
189  Guam 3 0 0 20 3 1 16 10 84 −74 10 0.500 AFC
190  American Samoa 5 0 0 18 3 1 14 11 136 −125 10 0.556 OFC
191  Montserrat 6 0 0 13 2 3 8 17 49 −32 9 0.692 CONCACAF
192  Bhutan 2 0 0 12 3 0 9 9 58 −49 9 0.750 AFC
193  U.S. Virgin Islands 6 0 0 19 3 0 16 8 95 −87 9 0.474 CONCACAF
194  Central African Republic 4 0 0 16 2 2 12 12 30 −18 8 0.500 CAF
195  Djibouti 5 0 0 21 2 2 17 12 86 −74 8 0.381 CAF
196  São Tomé and Príncipe 5 0 0 10 2 1 7 5 25 −20 7 0.700 CAF
197  Somalia 7 0 0 13 1 3 9 3 29 −26 6 0.462 CAF
198  Kosovo 2 0 0 18 1 3 14 8 39 −31 6 0.333 UEFA
199  Mauritius 8 0 0 20 1 3 16 14 52 −38 6 0.300 CAF
200  Cayman Islands 7 0 0 20 0 6 14 8 53 −45 6 0.300 CONCACAF
201  Brunei 4 0 0 16 2 0 14 5 62 −57 6 0.375 AFC
202  Saar 1 0 0 4 1 1 2 4 8 −4 4 1.000 defunct
203  Comoros 4 0 0 10 0 4 6 5 21 −16 4 0.400 CAF
204  Pakistan 9 0 0 32 0 4 28 13 122 −109 4 0.125 AFC
205  Eritrea 5 0 0 10 0 3 7 4 20 −16 3 0.300 CAF
206  British Virgin Islands 6 0 0 14 0 3 11 7 53 −46 3 0.214 CONCACAF
207  Turks and Caicos Islands 6 0 0 13 1 0 12 6 68 −62 3 0.231 CONCACAF
208  South Sudan 2 0 0 4 0 2 2 2 7 −5 2 0.500 CAF
209  Seychelles 6 0 0 16 0 2 14 6 46 −40 2 0.125 CAF
210  San Marino 8 0 0 76 0 2 74 12 356 −344 2 0.026 UEFA
211  South Yemen 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 4 7 −3 1 0.500 defunct
212  Tuvalu 1 0 0 4 0 1 3 2 22 −20 1 0.250 OFC
213  Anguilla 6 0 0 14 0 1 13 2 64 −62 1 0.071 CONCACAF
214  Timor-Leste 4 0 0 16 0 0 16 6 80 −74 0 0.000 AFC
215  Gibraltar 2 0 0 20 0 0 20 7 90 −83 0 0.000 UEFA

Statistics[edit]

# Year Registered Teams Participating Teams Qualified Teams Matches Played Goals Scored Goal Average
1 1930 FIFA World Cup qualification - - - - - -
2 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification 32 27 16 27 141 5.22
3 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification 37 21 15 22 96 4.36
4 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification 34 19 13 26 121 4.65
5 1954 FIFA World Cup qualification 45 33 16 57 208 3.65
6 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification 55 46 16 89 341 3.83
7 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification 56 49 16 92 325 3.53
8 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification 74 51 16 127 393 3.09
9 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification 75 68 16 172 542 3.15
10 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification 99 90 16 226 620 2.74
11 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification 107 95 16 252 723 2.87
12 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification 109 103 24 306 797 2.60
13 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification 121 110 24 308 801 2.60
14 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification 116 103 24 314 735 2.34
15 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification 147 130 24 497 1446 2.91
16 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification 174 168 32 643 1922 2.99
17 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification 199 193 32 777 2452 3.16
18 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification 198 194 32 847 2464 2.91
19 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification 206 200 32 853 2344 2.75
20 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification 203 202 32 820 2303 2.98
21 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification 210 208 32 871 2454 2.84
22 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification 211 205 32 865 2424 2.80
23 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification 48

Qualification tournament rules[edit]

Qualification tournaments generally consist of a number of stages, made up of groups or knock-out ties.

Groups[edit]

In all group tournaments, three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss. FIFA has set the order of the tie-breakers for teams that finish level on points:

  1. goal difference in all group matches
  2. greater number of goals scored in all group matches

Where teams are still not able to be separated, the following tie-breakers are used:

  1. greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams
  2. goal difference in matches between the tied teams
  3. greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams
  4. goals scored away from home in matches between the tied teams, if the tie is only between two teams

Where teams are still equal, then a play-off on neutral ground, with extra time and penalties if necessary will be played if FIFA deems such a play-off able to be fitted within the coordinated international match calendar. If this is not deemed feasible, then the result will be determined by fair play points and then the drawing of lots.

Note that this order of tie-breaker application has not always been applied. While it was used in the 2010 qualifiers, the qualification for the 2006 World Cup used the head-to-head comparison prior to goal difference (although this system was – where applicable – used in the 2006 finals themselves). If these rules had applied in 2006, then Nigeria would have qualified rather than Angola.

Home-and-away ties[edit]

Most knock-out qualifiers (such as the inter-confederation play-offs and many preliminary ties) are played over two legs. The team that scores a greater aggregate number of goals qualifies. Away goals rule applies. If these rules fail to determine the winner, extra time and penalty shootouts are used.

Occasionally – usually when one entrant lacks adequate facilities to host international matches – ties are played over a single leg, in which case matches level after 90 minutes will go to extra time and then to a penalty shootout if required.

Alternatively, "home" matches can be played in neutral countries, or occasionally one team will host both matches. In the latter case the visiting team will still be considered as the "home" team for one of the legs – which may determine which side advances under the away goals rule, as occurred in CONCACAF qualification in 2010.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]