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).

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 1933 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
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
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
Oceania N/A[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
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
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
Play-off tournament N/A 2
Total spots 13 16 16 16 16 24 32 48
Teams in the finals 15[e] 13[f]
Entered qualification[g] N/A 32 34 32 37 51 54 69 69 97 105 107 119 111 145 172 196 197 205[h] 203 210 211[i]
Played in qualification[j] 27 21 19 33 46 49 51 68 90 95 103 110 103 128 168 193 194 199[h] 202 208 207[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. ^ Spots were given by invitation only.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ 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. ^ 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.

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 PR
 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]
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.

Overview of teams' participations

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

Key

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 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 AFC[II]
 Austria Q w w Q Q n n n Q Q n Q n Q 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 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 CAF
 Canada n w n n n n Q n n n n n n n n 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 CONMEBOL
 China PR n n n n n n Q 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 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 OFC
 Costa Rica w s n n n n n n n n Q n n Q Q n 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 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 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 CONMEBOL
 Egypt[iii] Q w n w w w n n n n Q n n n n n n Q CAF[VII]
 El Salvador w Q n n Q 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 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 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 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 AFC
 Iraq n w n Q 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 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 CONCACAF
 Japan w s n n n n n n n n n Q H 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 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 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 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 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 OFC
 New Zealand n n n Q n n n n n n Q 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 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 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 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 CONCACAF
 Papua New Guinea 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 CONMEBOL
 Peru i w w w n n n Q n Q Q n n n n n n n n Q 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 UEFA
 Portugal n n n n n n Q n n n n Q n n n 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 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 AFC
 Scotland w Q Q n n n Q Q Q Q Q n Q n n n n n UEFA
 Senegal w n n n n n n n Q n n n 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 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 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 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 AFC[XII]
 Tahiti 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 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 CAF
 Turkey w w Q w n n n n n n n n n n Q 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
 U.S. Virgin Islands n n n n n n CONCACAF
 Uganda n w n n w n n n n n n n CAF
 Ukraine n n Q n n n UEFA
 United Arab Emirates w n Q 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 CONCACAF
 Uruguay H b C n Q Q Q Q n n Q Q n n Q n Q Q Q CONMEBOL
 Uzbekistan n n n n n n n AFC
 Vanuatu n n n n n n n OFC
 Venezuela w n n w 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 AFC
 Wales n n Q n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n 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

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 won the World Cup
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)

Teams in bold are currently participating or are yet to start in the 2022 qualification. The table is updated to the matches played in November 2021.

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 13 16 183 117 39 27 447 133 +314 390 2.131 CONCACAF
2  Australia 15 5 5 155 93 38 24 399 119 +280 317 2.045 AFC
3  South Korea 15 9 10 148 91 40 17 294 89 +205 313 2.115 AFC
4  Costa Rica 17 5 5 180 87 46 47 301 183 +118 307 1.706 CONCACAF
5  Iran 11 5 5 142 89 35 18 312 87 +225 302 2.127 AFC
6  Netherlands 19 11 11 135 89 26 20 329 101 +228 293 2.170 UEFA
7  Argentina 14 13 18 149 83 41 25 255 133 +122 290 1.946 CONMEBOL
8  Spain 19 15 16 125 87 26 12 291 81 +210 287 2.296 UEFA
9  United States 19 8 10 162 81 39 42 278 186 +92 282 1.741 CONCACAF
10  England 17 14 16 122 84 27 11 314 70 +244 279 2.287 UEFA
11  Portugal 21 7 7 147 81 35 31 279 145 +134 278 1.891 UEFA
12  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
13  Belgium 20 13 14 141 83 27 31 302 147 +155 276 1.957 UEFA
14  Sweden 20 11 12 139 85 21 33 279 127 +152 276 1.986 UEFA
15  Brazil 13 13 22 123 79 32 12 267 74 +193 269 2.187 CONMEBOL
16  Saudi Arabia 12 5 5 132 79 31 22 263 100 +163 268 2.030 AFC
17  Czech Republic
 Representation of Czechs and Slovaks
 Czechoslovakia
20 9 9 146 79 31 36 280 125 +155 268 1.836 UEFA
18  Germany
 West Germany
 Germany
15 15 20 104 83 18 3 328 74 +254 267 2.567 UEFA
19  Japan 15 5 6 134 80 26 28 298 90 +208 266 1.985 AFC
20  Uruguay 17 10 13 168 73 46 49 232 185 +47 265 1.577 CONMEBOL
21  Russia
 Soviet Union
16 10 11 125 80 24 21 246 81 +165 264 2.112 UEFA
22  Italy 17 14 18 117 78 30 9 234 71 +163 264 2.256 UEFA
23  Honduras 15 3 3 158 69 43 46 260 188 +72 250 1.582 CONCACAF
24  Romania 18 5 7 138 72 29 37 238 142 +96 245 1.775 UEFA
25   Switzerland 20 11 12 140 68 37 35 220 150 +70 241 1.721 UEFA
26  Paraguay 18 6 8 168 68 37 63 210 207 +3 241 1.435 CONMEBOL
27  El Salvador 14 2 2 154 69 32 53 256 179 +77 239 1.552 CONCACAF
28  China PR 12 1 1 122 73 19 30 267 88 +179 238 1.951 AFC
29  Scotland 19 9 8 135 69 30 36 209 143 +66 237 1.756 UEFA
30  France 18 12 16 119 70 26 23 234 91 +143 236 1.983 UEFA
31  Colombia 17 6 6 166 60 54 52 196 176 +20 234 1.410 CONMEBOL
32  Denmark 16 6 6 132 67 30 35 242 144 +98 231 1.750 UEFA
33  Chile 16 6 9 160 65 33 62 232 211 +21 228 1.425 CONMEBOL
34  Poland 19 8 8 127 66 23 38 258 154 +104 221 1.740 UEFA
35  Austria 19 8 7 133 64 29 40 231 153 +78 221 1.662 UEFA
36  Republic of Ireland
 Ireland
 Irish Free State
21 3 3 149 58 46 45 210 177 +33 220 1.477 UEFA
37  Hungary 19 8 9 132 63 28 41 235 176 +59 217 1.644 UEFA
38  Nigeria 15 6 6 110 62 30 18 184 83 +101 216 1.964 CAF
39  Bulgaria 20 7 7 137 62 29 46 215 191 +24 215 1.569 UEFA
40  Tunisia 15 5 5 110 61 29 20 191 86 +105 212 1.927 CAF
41  Canada 15 1 1 131 58 38 35 205 142 +63 212 1.618 CONCACAF
42  Morocco 15 5 5 117 57 38 22 170 81 +89 209 1.786 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