1998 FIFA World Cup qualification

Last updated
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Dates10 March 1996 – 29 November 1997
Teams174 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played643
Goals scored1,922 (2.99 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of Iran.svg Karim Bagheri
(19 goals)
1994
2002

The 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification competition was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations. Each confederation — the AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania), and UEFA (Europe) — was allocated a certain number of the 32 places at the tournament. A total of 174 teams entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. The 1998 FIFA World Cup featured 32 teams, with two places reserved for France and Brazil as host nation and defending champions, respectively. The remaining 30 places were determined by a qualification process, in which the other 174 teams, from the six FIFA confederations, competed.

Contents

Qualified teams

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Country qualified for World Cup
Country failed to qualify
Country did not enter World Cup
Country not a FIFA member 1998 world cup qualification.png
  Country qualified for World Cup
  Country failed to qualify
  Country did not enter World Cup
  Country not a FIFA member
TeamMethod of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Consecutive
finals
appearances
Previous best
performance
FIFA ranking
at start of event [1]
Flag of France.svg  France Host2 July 199210th 1986 1Third place (1958, 1986)18
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1994 FIFA World Cup Winners17 July 199416th 1994 16Winners (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994)1
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria CAF Final Round Group 1 Winners7 June 19972nd 1994 2Round of 16 (1994)74
Flag of Tunisia (1959-1999).svg  Tunisia CAF Final Round Group 2 Winners8 June 19972nd 1978 1Group stage (1978)21
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco CAF Final Round Group 5 Winners8 June 19974th 1994 2Round of 16 (1986)13
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa CAF Final Round Group 3 Winners16 August 19971st124
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon CAF Final Round Group 4 Winners17 August 19974th 1994 3Quarter-finals (1990)49
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania UEFA Group 8 Winners18 August 19977th 1994 3Quarter-finals (1994)22
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway UEFA Group 3 Winners6 September 19973rd 1994 2Group stage (1938, 1994)7
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria UEFA Group 5 Winners10 September 19977th 1994 2Fourth place (1994)35
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina CONMEBOL Round Robin Winners10 September 199712th 1994 7Winners (1978, 1986)6
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia CONMEBOL Round Robin 3rd Place10 September 19974th 1994 3Round of 16 (1990)10
Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay CONMEBOL Round Robin 2nd Place10 September 19975th 1986 1Round of 16 (1986)29
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark UEFA Group 1 Winners11 October 19972nd 1986 1Round of 16 (1986)27
Flag of England.svg  England UEFA Group 2 Winners11 October 199710th 1990 1Winners (1966)5
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria UEFA Group 4 Winners11 October 19977th 1990 1Third place (1954)31
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain UEFA Group 6 Winners11 October 199710th 1994 6Fourth place (1950)15
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands UEFA Group 7 Winners11 October 19977th 1994 3Runners-up (1974, 1978)25
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany UEFA Group 9 Winners11 October 199714th 1994 12Winners (1954, 1974, 1990)2
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland UEFA Group 4 Runners-up11 October 19978th 1990 1Group stage (1954, 1958, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990)41
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico CONCACAF Fourth Round Winners12 October 199711th 1994 2Quarter-finals (1970, 1986)4
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea AFC Final Round Group B Winners18 October 19975th 1994 4Group stage (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994)20
Flag of the United States.svg  United States CONCACAF Fourth Round 2nd Place9 November 19976th 1994 3Third place (1930)11
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia AFC Final Round Group A Winners12 November 19972nd 1994 2Round of 16 (1994)34
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia UEFA play-off Winners15 November 19971st119
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy UEFA play-off Winners15 November 199714th 1994 10Winners (1934, 1938, 1982)14
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium UEFA play-off Winners15 November 199710th 1994 5Fourth place (1986)36
Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  FR Yugoslavia UEFA play-off Winners15 November 19979th 1990 1Fourth place (1930, 1962)8
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan AFC play-off Winners16 November 19971st112
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica CONCACAF Fourth Round 3rd Place16 November 19971st130
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile CONMEBOL Round Robin 4th Place16 November 19977th 1982 1Third place (1962)9
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran AFC v OFC play-off Winners29 November 19972nd 1978 1Group stage (1978)42

14 of the 32 teams subsequently failed to qualify for the 2002 finals: Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Iran, Jamaica, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Scotland, Ukraine and Yugoslavia.

Qualification process

The distribution by confederation for the 1998 FIFA World Cup was:

Confederation qualification

AFC

A total of 36 teams entered the competition. The Asian zone was allocated 3.5 places (out of 32) in the final tournament.

There were three rounds of play:

Legend
Countries that qualified for the 1998 World Cup
Countries that advanced to the Play-off for third place

Final positions (Final Round)

Group A Group B
TeamPldPts
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 814
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 812
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 811
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 810
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 88
TeamPldPts
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 819
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 813
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 89
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 86
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 86

Play-off for 3rd place

Team 1ScoreTeam 2
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 3–2 (a.e.t.) Flag of Iran.svg  Iran

CAF

A total of 38 CAF teams entered the competition. However, Mali and Niger both withdrew before the draw was made. The African Zone was allocated five places (out of 32) in the final tournament.

There would be two rounds of play:

Legend
Countries that qualified for the 1998 World Cup

Final positions (Final Round)

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
TeamPldPts
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 613
Flag of Guinea.svg  Guinea 612
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 610
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso 60
TeamPldPts
Flag of Tunisia (1959-1999).svg  Tunisia 616
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 610
Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia 64
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 64
TeamPldPts
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 613
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo 610
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia 68
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg (1997-2003).svg  DR Congo 62
Group 4 Group 5
TeamPldPts
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 614
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola 610
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 64
Flag of Togo.svg  Togo 64
TeamPldPts
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 616
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone 57
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 66
Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon 51

CONCACAF

John Harkes playing for the United States in a fourth round qualifying match against Mexico on April 20, 1997 1997 USA v Mexico - John Harkes (3898356480).jpg
John Harkes playing for the United States in a fourth round qualifying match against Mexico on April 20, 1997

A total of 30 CONCACAF teams entered the competition. Mexico, the US, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Canada, the six highest-ranked teams according to FIFA, received byes and advanced to the third round directly. The remaining 24 teams were divided into two zones, based on geographical locations, as follows:

In the third round, the 12 teams were divided into three groups of four teams each. They played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winners and runners-up would advance to the final round.

In the final round, the six teams played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The top three teams would qualify.

Legend
Countries that qualified for the 1998 World Cup

Final positions (Fourth Round)

TeamPldPts
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1018
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1017
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica 1014
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 1012
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 1010
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 106

CONMEBOL

A total of 10 CONMEBOL teams entered the competition. The South American zone was allocated 5 places (out of 32) in the final tournament. Brazil, the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 4 spots open for competition between 9 teams.

The rules were very simple. The 9 teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The top 4 teams would qualify.

Legend
Countries that qualified for the 1998 World Cup

Final positions

TeamPldPts
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 1630
Flag of Paraguay (1990-2013).svg  Paraguay 1629
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 1628
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 1625
Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 1625
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 1621
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 1621
Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia 1617
Flag of Venezuela (1930-1954).svg  Venezuela 163

OFC

A total of 10 teams entered the competition. The Oceanian zone was allocated 0.5 places (out of 32) in the final tournament.

There were three rounds of play:

Final positions (Third Round)

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg0–5Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 0–3 0–2

UEFA

A total of 50 UEFA teams entered the competition. The European zone was allocated 15 places (out of 32) in the final tournament. France, the hosts, qualified automatically, leaving 14 spots open for competition between 49 teams.

The 49 teams were divided into nine groups, four groups of six teams and five groups of five teams. The teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winners would qualify. The runners-up would be ranked according to their records against the 1st, 3rd and 4th-placed team in their groups, and the team with the best record would also qualify. The remaining runners-up would advance to the UEFA Play-offs.

In the play-offs, the 8 teams were paired up to play knockout matches on a home-and-away basis. The winners would qualify.

Legend
Countries that qualified for the 1998 World Cup
Countries that advanced to the Play-offs

Final positions (First Round)

Play-offs

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
Croatia  Flag of Croatia.svg3–1Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 2–0 1–1
Russia  Flag of Russia.svg1–2Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 1–1 0–1
Republic of Ireland  Flag of Ireland.svg2–3Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1–1 1–2
Hungary  Flag of Hungary.svg1–12Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  FR Yugoslavia 1–7 0–5

Inter-confederation play-offs: AFC v OFC

It was a two-legged home-and-away tie between the winners of the Oceania qualifying tournament, Australia, and the losing team in the AFC play-off from the Asian qualifying tournament, Iran. The games were played on 22 and 29 November 1997 in Tehran and Melbourne respectively. Australia was hoping to play in the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1974 and Iran in 1978. The second game is known in Iran as the Saga of Melbourne.

Team 1 Agg. Team 21st leg2nd leg
Iran  Flag of Iran.svg(a) 3–3Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 1–1 2–2

Top goalscorers

19 goals
14 goals
12 goals
11 goals
9 goals

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References

  1. "FIFA/Coca Cola World Ranking (20 May 1998)". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 27 January 2012.