The 2014 FIFA World Cup will feature 32 teams. The hosts, Brazil, have been allocated a place- however, the defending champions, Spain, have not been given an automatic place. A complex qualification process will determine the remaining 31 places- here is how teams can qualify.
207 teams from six FIFA confederations will compete for the places. The majority of the places will be determined within these confederations, with a limited number of inter-confederation play offs occuring at the end of the process.
The six confederations represent Europe; Africa; Asia; South America; North, Central and Caribbean; and Oceania. The number of places available to each confederation is as follows:
- Europe (UEFA) - 13 places
- Africa (CAF) - 5 places
- Asia (AFC) - 4 or 5 places
- South America (CONMEBOL) - 4 or 5 places (+ Brazil)
- North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF) - 3 or 4 places
- Oceania (OFC) - 0 or 1 place
UEFA and CAF have a guaranteed number of places. Whilst the number of places for the other confederations will be determind by play-offs; firstly by AFC's fifth-placed team and CONMEBOL's fifth-placed team, then between CONCACAF's fourth-placed team and OFC's first-placed team.
How do European teams qualify from the UEFA confederation?
Qualification for the 2014 World Cup for European teams is much less complicated compared to other confederations. However, there a few stages to consider.
All 53 national associations affiliated with UEFA take part in the qualification process. There are eight groups of 6 teams, and single group of 5 teams.
The nine group winners will qualify- while the eight best runners-up will play-off for the four remaining spots.
As of the 25th March 2013, Spain and Sweden are amongst the teams that are sitting in the runner-up position. Showing how important it is for England to win against Montenegro tomorrow and secure top spot.