FIFA World Cup qualification

Last updated

The FIFA World Cup qualification is the process that a national association football team goes through to qualify for the final tournament of the FIFA World Cup. The qualification reduces the large field of eligible entrants from 211 to just 32 for the finals as of the 2022 edition (to be expanded to 48 from 2026 onwards).

Contents

Qualifying tournaments are held within FIFA's six continental zones and are 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 beforehand the number of places in the finals allocated to each of the zones, based on the numbers and relative strengths of the confederations' teams.

The hosts receive automatic berths, and until 2002, so did the defending champions. Unlike with other sports, results of the previous World Cups or of the continental championships are not taken into account.

The current qualification process is the 2022 qualification, which commenced in 2019 and finishes in 2022.

History

Over many years, the World Cup's qualification has evolved, from having no qualification at all in 1930, when the tournament was invitational and only 13 teams entered, to the current three-year process. The first World Cup qualifying match was played on 11 June when Sweden defeated Estonia 6–2 in Stockholm. The first ever goal in a World Cup qualifying match was scored 7 minutes into the game: it was scored according to some sources by Swedish captain Knut Kroon, or according to other sources by Estonian goalkeeper Evald Tipner (own goal).

While the number of teams which qualified for the finals has increased steadily, from 16 between 1934 and 1978, to 24 between 1982 and 1994, and finally to 32 starting from 1998, the qualification format has been basically the same throughout the history of the World Cup. The teams have been grouped continentally, and they competed for a fixed number of places, with one or two places awarded to the winners of intercontinental play-offs.

Qualification spots by continent

The table below lists the numbers of spots 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.

"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, with a place in a direct play-off being counted as 0.5 spots and a place in a semi-final play-off (where the winner would then face yet another team for a place in the finals) being counted as 0.25 spots.

Places allocated for continents
Flag of Uruguay.svg
1930
[lower-greek 1]
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg
1934
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg
1938
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg
1950
Flag of Switzerland.svg
1954
Flag of Sweden.svg
1958
Flag of Chile.svg
1962
Flag of England.svg
1966
Flag of Mexico.svg
1970
Flag of Germany.svg
1974
Flag of Argentina.svg
1978
Flag of Spain.svg
1982
Flag of Mexico.svg
1986
Flag of Italy.svg
1990
Flag of the United States.svg
1994
Flag of France.svg
1998
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg
Flag of Japan.svg
2002
Flag of Germany.svg
2006
Flag of South Africa.svg
2010
Flag of Brazil.svg
2014
Flag of Russia.svg
2018
Flag of Qatar.svg
2022
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg
Flag of Mexico.svg
Flag of the United States.svg
2026
Europe4 inv1211
+H+C
7
+C
11
+H
9 [lower-greek 2]
+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
131313
+H
1316
Africa10 [lower-greek 3] 1 [lower-greek 2] 0.5111122235555
+H
5559
Asia1110.511122223.52.5
+2H
4.54.54.54.54.5
+H
8
OceaniaN/A [lower-greek 4] 0 [lower-greek 3] 0 [lower-greek 3] 0 [lower-greek 3] 0 [lower-greek 3] 0.50.50.250.50.50.50.50.50.50.51
North and Central America
and Caribbean
2 inv112110.511
+H
1121
+H
21.25
+H
333.53.53.53.53.56
South AmericaH+
6 inv
214
+H
1
+C
33.5
+H+C
3
+C
32.5
+C
2.5
+H
3
+C
42.5
+C
3.54
+C
4.54.54.54.5
+H
4.54.56
Play-off tournamentN/A2
Total spots1316161616243248
Teams in the finals15 [lower-greek 5] 13 [lower-greek 6]
Entered qualification [lower-greek 7] N/A323432375154696997105107119111145172196197205 [lower-greek 8] 203210211 [lower-greek 9]
Played in qualification [lower-greek 10] 27211933464951689095103110103128168193194199 [lower-greek 8] 202208209 [lower-greek 9]
Qualified via qualification14109131414141414142222222230293131313131
Qualified without playing13267322222222222311111
Notes
  1. Spots were given by invitation only.
  2. 1 2 Actually the spots 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 Wales.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 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. 1 2 Including host South Africa and non-FIFA member Tuvalu, who participated because other tournaments also served as World Cup qualifiers.
  9. 1 2 Including host Qatar, who participated because the continental qualification also served as World Cup qualifiers.
  10. Only includes teams that played at least one qualifying match that was not annulled.

First appearance in qualification by team

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.

YearDebuting teamsSuccessor and renamed teams
EuropeSouth AmericaNorth, Central America and CaribbeanAsiaAfricaOceaniaTCT
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg
1934
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia [upper-alpha 1]
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg  France [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Germany (1933-1935).svg  Germany [upper-alpha 2]
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg  Greece
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg  Hungary
Flag of Ireland.svg  Irish Free State [upper-alpha 3]
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg  Italy [N 1]
Flag of Lithuania 1918-1940.svg  Lithuania
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of Spain (1931-1939).svg  Spain
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland
Flag of Yugoslavia (1918-1943).svg  Yugoslavia [lower-alpha 1] [upper-alpha 4]
noneFlag of Cuba.svg  Cuba
Flag of Haiti (civil).svg  Haiti
Flag of Mexico (1934-1968).svg  Mexico [lower-alpha 1]
Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States [lower-alpha 1]
Palestine-Mandate-Ensign-1927-1948.svg  Palestine, British Mandate [upper-alpha 5] Flag of Egypt (1922-1958).svg  Egypt [upper-alpha 6] none2727
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg
1938
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway
nonenonenonenonenone330
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg
1950
Flag of England.svg  England
Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland [upper-alpha 7]
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey [lower-alpha 2]
Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg  Wales
nonenoneFlag of Syria (1932-1958; 1961-1963).svg  Syria nonenone636Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland [upper-alpha 3]
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel [upper-alpha 5]
Flag of Switzerland.svg
1954
Flag of Saar (1947-1956).svg  Saar Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil [lower-alpha 3]
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile [lower-alpha 4]
Flag of Paraguay (1842-1954).svg  Paraguay [lower-alpha 5]
noneFlag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan [lower-alpha 6]
Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea
nonenone642Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland [upper-alpha 7]
Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland [upper-alpha 3]
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany [upper-alpha 2]
Flag of Sweden.svg
1958
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Flag of Germany.svg  East Germany
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union [upper-alpha 8]
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina [lower-alpha 7]
Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia [lower-alpha 5]
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia [lower-alpha 6]
Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru [lower-alpha 8]
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay [lower-alpha 9]
Canadian Red Ensign (1957-1965).svg  Canada
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica [lower-alpha 6]
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Territory of Curaçao [upper-alpha 9]
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia [lower-alpha 10]
Flag of Sudan (1956-1970).svg  Sudan none1658
Flag of Chile.svg
1962
Flag of Cyprus (1960-2006).svg  Cyprus [lower-alpha 11] Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador [lower-alpha 12] Flag of Suriname (1959-1975).svg  Dutch Guiana [lower-alpha 6] [upper-alpha 10]
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg  Honduras
noneFlag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg  Ethiopia
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria
Flag of Tunisia (1959-1999).svg  Tunisia
none967Flag of the Netherlands Antilles (1959-1986).svg  Netherlands Antilles [upper-alpha 9]
Flag of England.svg
1966
Flag of Albania (1946-1992).svg  Albania Flag of Venezuela (1954-2006).svg  Venezuela [lower-alpha 11] Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago
Flag of North Korea (1948-1992).svg  North Korea noneFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 673
Flag of Mexico.svg
1970
nonenoneFlag of Bermuda.svg  Bermuda
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador [lower-alpha 6]
noneFlag of Algeria.svg  Algeria [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Cameroon (1961-1975).svg  Cameroon [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Libya (1951-1969).svg  Libya [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Rhodesia (1968-1979).svg  Rhodesia [upper-alpha 11]
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Zambia (1964-1996).svg  Zambia
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 982
Flag of Germany.svg
1974
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta noneFlag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda
Flag of Puerto Rico (1952-1995).svg  Puerto Rico
Flag of Hong Kong 1959.svg  Hong Kong
State Flag of Iran (1964).svg  Iran
Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Flag of South Vietnam.svg  South Vietnam [upper-alpha 12]
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Flag of the People's Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo
Flag of Benin.svg  Dahomey [upper-alpha 13]
Flag of Guinea.svg  Guinea [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg  Ivory Coast
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya
Flag of Lesotho (1966-1987).svg  Lesotho
Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone
Flag of Tanzania.svg  Tanzania
Flag of Togo.svg  Togo
Flag of Zaire (1971-1997).svg  Zaire [upper-alpha 14]
none21103
Flag of Argentina.svg
1978
nonenoneFlag of Barbados.svg  Barbados
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama
Flag of Bahrain (1972-2002).svg  Bahrain
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Republic of China [lower-alpha 14] [upper-alpha 15]
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore
Flag of Malawi.svg  Malawi
Flag of Mauritania (1959-2017).svg  Mauritania
Flag of Niger.svg  Niger
Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda
Flag of Upper Volta.svg  Upper Volta [upper-alpha 16]
none14117Flag of Suriname.svg  Suriname [upper-alpha 10]
Flag of Spain.svg
1982
nonenoneFlag of Grenada.svg  Grenada Flag of Portugal.svg  Macau Flag of The Gambia.svg  Gambia
Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia [lower-alpha 13]
Flag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar [lower-alpha 15]
Flag of Mozambique (1975-1983).svg  Mozambique
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 8125Flag of Chinese Taipei (FIFA).svg  Chinese Taipei [upper-alpha 15]
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe [upper-alpha 11]
Flag of Mexico.svg
1986
nonenonenoneFlag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh
Flag of Brunei.svg  Brunei
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan
Flag of India.svg  India [lower-alpha 16]
Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal
Flag of North Yemen.svg  North Yemen [upper-alpha 17]
Flag of South Yemen.svg  South Yemen
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates [lower-alpha 17]
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola none9134Flag of Benin (1975-1990).svg  Benin [upper-alpha 13]
Flag of Italy.svg
1990
nonenonenoneOld Flag of Oman.svg  Oman [lower-alpha 18]
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan
Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon [lower-alpha 19] none3137Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso [upper-alpha 16]
Flag of the United States.svg
1994
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands
Flag of San Marino (1862-2011).svg  San Marino
noneFlag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua
Flag of Saint Lucia (1979-2002).svg  Saint Lucia
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon [lower-alpha 20]
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka [lower-alpha 21]
Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana
Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Flag of South Africa (1982-1994).svg  South Africa
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Swaziland [upper-alpha 18]
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands
Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti
Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu
15152Flag of Germany.svg  Germany [upper-alpha 2]
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Representation of Czechs and Slovaks [upper-alpha 1]
Flag of Russia (1991-1993).svg  Russia [upper-alpha 8]
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam [upper-alpha 12]
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen [upper-alpha 17]
Flag of France.svg
1998
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan
Flag of Belarus (1995-2012).svg  Belarus
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1998).svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia
Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein [lower-alpha 22]
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  Macedonia [upper-alpha 19]
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
noneFlag of Aruba.svg  Aruba
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg  Cayman Islands
Flag of Dominica.svg  Dominica
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Saint Kitts and Nevis
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan
Flag of Maldives.svg  Maldives [lower-alpha 23]
Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg  Philippines [lower-alpha 24]
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan
Flag of Turkmenistan (1997-2001).svg  Turkmenistan
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan
Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg  Guinea-Bissau
Flag of Rwanda (1962-2001).svg  Rwanda [lower-alpha 23]
Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga
Flag of Samoa.svg  Western Samoa [lower-alpha 22] [upper-alpha 20]
31183Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic [upper-alpha 1]
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg (1997-2003).svg  DR Congo [upper-alpha 14]
Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  FR Yugoslavia [upper-alpha 4]
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg
2002
Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra noneFlag of Anguilla.svg  Anguilla
Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas [lower-alpha 25]
Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg  British Virgin Islands
Flag of Montserrat.svg  Montserrat
Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg  Turks and Caicos Islands
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg  U.S. Virgin Islands
Flag of Guam.svg  Guam
Flag of Laos.svg  Laos
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
Flag of Palestine.svg  Palestine
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cape Verde
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg  Central African Republic [lower-alpha 26]
Flag of Chad.svg  Chad
Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea
Flag of Eritrea.svg  Eritrea
Flag of Mali.svg  Mali [lower-alpha 27]
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.svg  São Tomé and Príncipe [lower-alpha 22]
Flag of the Seychelles.svg  Seychelles
Flag of American Samoa.svg  American Samoa 21204Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa [upper-alpha 20]
Flag of Germany.svg
2006
nonenonenoneFlag of Afghanistan (2002-2004).svg  Afghanistan noneNew Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia 2206Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg  Serbia and Montenegro [upper-alpha 4]
Flag of South Africa.svg
2010
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro nonenoneFlag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg  Myanmar [lower-alpha 28]
Flag of East Timor.svg  Timor-Leste
Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros Flag of Tuvalu.svg  Tuvalu [N 2] 5211Flag of Serbia (2004-2010).svg  Serbia [upper-alpha 4]
Flag of Brazil.svg
2014
nonenonenonenonenonenone0211Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao [upper-alpha 9]
Flag of Russia.svg
2018
Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo
nonenoneFlag of Bhutan.svg  Bhutan [lower-alpha 29] Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan none4215
Flag of Qatar.svg
2022
nonenonenonenonenonenone0215Flag of Eswatini.svg  Eswatini [upper-alpha 18]
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia [upper-alpha 19]
Teams' entries prior to their actual debuts in qualification
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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. 1 2 Participated in the 1930 World Cup by invitation. Qualified by walkover for the 1950 finals.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 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 Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Dutch East Indies ). Withdrew from the 1950 qualification before playing.
  11. 1 2 Withdrew from the 1958 qualification before playing.
  12. Withdrew from the 1950 qualification before playing.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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 Flag of Madagascar.svg  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 Flag of Ceylon 1951-1972.svg  Ceylon ).
  22. 1 2 3 Withdrew from the 1994 qualification before playing.
  23. 1 2 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 Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma ).
  29. Withdrew from the 2010 qualification before playing.
Successor and renamed teams
  1. 1 2 3 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. 1 2 3 Germany was succeeded from the 1954 qualification by West Germany, which in turn was succeeded by the reunified Germany from the 1994 qualification.
  3. 1 2 3 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. 1 2 3 4 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. 1 2 Mandatory Palestine was succeeded by Israel from the 1950 qualification.
  6. Egypt was later succeeded by the Flag of the United Arab Republic.svg  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 yet again withdrew before playing. It was renamed back as "Egypt" from the 1974 qualification.
  7. 1 2 Ireland was succeeded by Northern Ireland from the 1954 qualification.
  8. 1 2 The Soviet Union was succeeded by Russia from the 1994 qualification.
  9. 1 2 3 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. 1 2 Dutch Guiana was succeeded by Suriname from the 1978 qualification.
  11. 1 2 Rhodesia was succeeded by Zimbabwe from the 1982 qualification.
  12. 1 2 South Vietnam was succeeded by Vietnam from the 1994 qualification.
  13. 1 2 Dahomey was renamed as Benin from the 1986 qualification.
  14. 1 2 Zaire was renamed as DR Congo during the 1998 qualification.
  15. 1 2 The Republic of China became officially known as Chinese Taipei from the 1982 qualification.
  16. 1 2 Upper Volta was renamed as Burkina Faso from the 1990 qualification.
  17. 1 2 North Yemen was succeeded by Yemen from the 1994 qualification.
  18. 1 2 Swaziland was renamed as Eswatini from the 2022 qualification.
  19. 1 2 Macedonia was renamed as North Macedonia from the 2022 qualification.
  20. 1 2 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.

Overview of teams' participations

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

Key

QQualified
wQualified, then withdrew from the finals (Austria in 1938, and Scotland and Turkey in 1950)
nDid not qualify
wWithdrew during qualifying
dWas disqualified during qualifying
HQualified 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)
bReceived bye to the finals
BReceived bye to the finals, then withdrew (India in 1950)
HQualified automatically as host
CQualified automatically as reigning champion
iWas invited to the finals (all finalists in 1930 except Uruguay)
wWithdrew before playing / withdrew and had all matches annulled
dWas banned / entry was rejected / was disqualified before playing / was disqualified and had all matches annulled
Did not enter despite being a FIFA member
Was not a FIFA member
Team19
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 [upper-roman 1]
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan nnnnnAFC
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania ndnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria wnnnQQnnnnnQQnCAF
Flag of American Samoa.svg  American Samoa nnnnnOFC
Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra nnnnnUEFA
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola nnnnnQnnnCAF
Flag of Anguilla.svg  Anguilla nnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda nnnnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina ibwwQQQnQHCQCQQQQQQQCONMEBOL
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia nnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Aruba.svg  Aruba nnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia nnQnnnnnnnQQQQAFC [upper-roman 2]
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria QwwQQnnnQQnQnQnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan nnnnnnUEFA
Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas wnnnwnnCONCACAF
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain nnnwnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh nnnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados nwnnnnnndnCONCACAF
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus nnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium iQQwQnnnQnnQQQQQQnnQQUEFA
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize dnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Benin.svg  Benin (1978–)
Flag of Benin.svg  Dahomey (1970–1974)
nnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Bermuda.svg  Bermuda nnwnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Bhutan.svg  Bhutan wnnAFC
Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia ibdnnnnnnnnnQnnnnnnCONMEBOL
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina nnnnQnUEFA
Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana nnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil ibbHQQCCQCQQQQQCQQQHQCONMEBOL
Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg  British Virgin Islands nnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Brunei.svg  Brunei nndnnAFC
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria wnnnQQQQnnQnQQnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso (1986–)
Flag of Upper Volta.svg  Upper Volta (1970–1982)
nnwnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi nwwnnnnnCAF
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia [lower-roman 1] nnnnnnAFC
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon wnnnQnQQQQnQQnCAF
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada nwnnnnQnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cape Verde nnnnnCAF
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg  Cayman Islands nnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg  Central African Republic wdnwwnnCAF
Flag of Chad.svg  Chad nnnnnnCAF
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile iwbnnHQnQnQnndQnnQQnCONMEBOL
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR nnnnnnQnnnnAFC
Flag of Chinese Taipei (FIFA).svg  Chinese Taipei (1982–)
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Republic of China (1954–1978)
wwnnnnnnnnnnnnAFC [upper-roman 3]
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia wnQnnnnnnQQQnnnQQCONMEBOL [upper-roman 4]
Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros nnnnCAF
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo dnnnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands nnnnnnOFC
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica wdnnnnnnnnQnnQQnQQCONCACAF
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia QQQnQQUEFA
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba nbndndnnnwnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao (2014–)
Flag of the Netherlands Antilles.svg  Netherlands Antilles (1962–2010)
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Territory of Curaçao (1934–1958)
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus wnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA [upper-roman 5]
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic (1998–)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Representation of Czechs and Slovaks (1994)
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia (1930–1994)
QQQQQnQnnQnQnnnQnnnUEFA
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark nnnnnnQnnQQnQnQUEFA
Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti nnnnCAF
Flag of Dominica.svg  Dominica nnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic nnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  DR Congo (1998–)
Flag of Zaire (1971-1997).svg  Zaire (1974–1998) [lower-roman 2]
dQwnnnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany nnnnQnnnndefunct [upper-roman 6]
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador wnnnnnnnnnnQQnQnCONMEBOL
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt [lower-roman 3] QwnwwwnnnnQnnnnnnQCAF [upper-roman 7]
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador wQnnQnnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of England.svg  England QQQQHCnnQQQnQQQQQQUEFA
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea nnnnnCAF
Flag of Eritrea.svg  Eritrea nnwnnnCAF
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia nnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Eswatini (2022–)
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Swaziland (1982–2018)
nnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia dnwnnnnnnnndnnCAF [upper-roman 8]
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands nnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji nnnnnnnnnOFC
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland nwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of France.svg  France iQHnQQnQnnQQQnnHCQQQQUEFA
Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon wwnnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of The Gambia.svg  Gambia nnwnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia nnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany (1994–)
Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany (1950–1990)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany (1930–1938)
QQdQCQQQHCQQQCQQHQQQUEFA
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana nwnnnwnnnnnQQQnCAF
Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar nUEFA
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece wnnnnnnnnnnnQnnnQQnUEFA
Flag of Grenada.svg  Grenada nwnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Guam.svg  Guam nwwnnAFC
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala nndnnnnnnnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Guinea.svg  Guinea wdnnnnnnndnnnnCAF
Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg  Guinea-Bissau nnnnnnCAF
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana nnnnnndnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Haiti.svg  Haiti nnnQnnnnnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg  Honduras nnnnwQnnnnnnQQnCONCACAF
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong nnnnnnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary QQbQQQnnQQQnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland dnnnnnnnnnnnnQUEFA
Flag of India.svg  India BdwnwnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia [lower-roman 4] bwnwnnnnnnnnnnndnAFC
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran nQwdnnQnQnQQAFC
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq nwnQnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel (1950–)
Palestine-Mandate-Ensign-1927-1948.svg  Palestine, British Mandate (1930–1938)
nnnnnnnQnnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA [upper-roman 9]
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy QCCQnQQQQQQCHQQQQQQnUEFA
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg  Ivory Coast nnnnnnnQQQnCAF
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica nnwndnnQnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan wdnnnnnnnnnQHQQQQAFC
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan nnnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan nnnnnnUEFA [upper-roman 10]
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya nnnnnnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo nUEFA
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait nnQnnnnnnnndnAFC
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan nnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Laos.svg  Laos nnnnnAFC
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia nnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon wnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Lesotho.svg  Lesotho nnwwnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia wnnnwnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Libya.svg  Libya wnnwnwwnnnnnCAF
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein wnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania nnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Macau.svg  Macau nnnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar [lower-roman 5] wnnnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Malawi.svg  Malawi nnnnwnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia nnnnnnnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Maldives.svg  Maldives wnnnnnnnAFC
Flag of Mali.svg  Mali wwwnnnnnCAF
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta nnnnnnnnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania nwnnnnnCAF
Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius nndnnnnwnnCAF
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico inwQQQQQHnQnHdQQQQQQQCONCACAF
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova nnnnnnUEFA
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia nnnnnnAFC
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro nnnUEFA
Flag of Montserrat.svg  Montserrat nnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco nwQwnnQnQQnnnnQCAF
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique ndnnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar [lower-roman 6] wwwdnnnnAFC
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia nnnnnnnCAF
Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal nnnnwnnnnAFC
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands QQnnnnQQnnQQQnQQQnUEFA
New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia nnnnOFC
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand nnnQnnnnnnQnnOFC
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua nnnnnnnnCONCACAF
Flag of Niger.svg  Niger nnwnwnnnnCAF
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria nwnnnnnnQQQnQQQCAF
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea QdnwnnnnnQnnwAFC