The History of World Cup Qualifiers
For the very first World Cup in Uruguay there was no qualification at all, with 13 teams who were all invited by the organisers entering the tournament. This soon changed and in 1934 countries had to earn their right to compete in the World Cup.
A number of spots were allocated to each part of the footballing world. For example ahead of the 1934 World Cup in Italy, 12 spots were available for teams from Europe, one in total for Africa and Asia, one for North and Central America and the Caribbean and two for South America. 30 teams battled for 14 spaces at the competition. Argentina and Brazil qualified without playing a game as they were the only two teams interesting in competing from South America.
Over the years qualification settled into a pattern of the hosts qualifying directly for the main tournament alongside the winners from the previous edition. Uruguay turned down their invitation to the 1934 World Cup in protest against the amount of European teams that did not travel to Uruguay in 1930. By the time of the 2006 World Cup in Germany only the hosts of the competition and not the previous winners were guaranteed entry.
By the time of the 2018 World Cup in Russia 32 places (31 if you take out the hosts, Russia) were allocated as follows around FIFA's six international zones. 13 for Europe, five for Africa, five between Asia and Oceania with a maximum of one from Oceania and eight between North and Central America and the Caribbean and South America with a maximum of four from North and Central America and the Caribbean. As is evident the places have been divided much more equally amongst the different international zones since 1934.
Top Teams in World Cup Qualifying
Brazil are the only country to have competed in all 22 editions of the FIFA World Cup. Due to a combination of being champions and hosts they have had to qualify for only 13 of the finals. Out of 125 World Cup qualifiers Brazil have only lost 12 (up until 2018).
Germany have reached the finals 20 times including the years they were represented as West Germany. They have had to qualify 15 times and have only ever lost three World Cup qualifying matches out of 104 (up until 2018).
Both Argentina and Italy have qualified for 18 World Cup Finals followed by Mexico, Spain, England and France on 16 World Cup Finals. Up until 2018 Mexico had played the most World Cup Qualification matches (186) of any nation.
Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia
Russia as hosts of the 2018 tournament were the only side guaranteed qualification to their own tournament.
Brazil were the first team to qualify in March 2017 when they advanced from the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) round robin group stage competition as champions. They recovered after losing their first match in Chile to progress.
Iceland qualified for their first World Cup, progressing out of the UEFA Group I as winners. The unfancied minnows ended more well known names such as Ukraine, Turkey or Finland chances of progressing to a matchday in the main tournament.
Panama were the second nation to qualify from the CONCACAF region to enter their first World Cup Finals.
Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
32 teams will compete the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Qatar qualify automatically as hosts and will kick-off their first ever appearance at the finals in front of their own Qatari public. It will be the first tournament held in the Middle East. Also qualified are 14 other nations; Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina, Iran and South Korea.
Qualification continues around the world to determine the final 17 positions at World Cup 2022.
In Europe the group stages have been played and the first play-off dates are scheduled for March 2022. With semi-finals leading to a play-off final there are some interesting match-ups in the race to reach the main championships.
Portugal will have to beat Turkey in Porto to advance to their play-off final where they could meet either Italy or North Macedonia.
Scotland have not competed at the World Cup Finals since 1998, they play Ukraine for the right to play Wales or Austria who face-off in Cardiff in the play-off final.
World Cup Qualifier Tickets
World Cup Qualifier tickets are now on sale. Click here to get all the cheapest ticket prices at Ticket4Football.com. Whether you want a ticket for the quarter finals or the final itself you should be able to find a deal on World Cup tickets at Ticket4Football.com
When you book tickets for World Cup Qualifiers with Ticket4Football.com, you can be assured of 100% Safe & Secure Booking with guaranteed timely ticket delivery for all our sporting events. Book your World Cup Qualifiers Tickets Online Now.