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Friday, March 25, 2011

2014 FIFA World Cup: UEFA keep the same qualifying format

Approved the format of the European qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, whereby the 53 participating teams will be split into 8 groups of 6 teams and 1 group of 5 teams. The 9 group winners will qualify for the World Cup and the 8 best runners-up will contest home-and-away play-offs to determine which additional 4 teams qualify and take up the remainder of the 13 slots allocated to the European confederation. This proposal will be sent to FIFA for ratification.


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Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. I think it is quite unfair for the worst runner-up to be eliminated without having a play-off.

    Once can see it with Norway...they were worst runner-up in 2010 qualifiers, but in a group dominated by the later WC finalist Netherlands.

    I think they might have done quite well at the finals, considering that they are quite highly ranked in the Coca-Cola-FIFA-rankings.

    i would have liked to see:

    a prequalifiers reducing europe to 36 teams. so 17 knock out matches from team 20-53

    The 17 winners + 19 top teams of the seeding list make the matrix in 6 x 6 groups. Groupwinners + runners-up advance (12). The two best thirdplaced teams have a playoff determining the last spot.

    max matches of a nation

    2 (prequalifiers)
    10 (qualifiers)
    2 (playoffs)

    = 14

  2. @ Gibraldo

    No. UEFA doesn't need pre-qualifying. The only easy game left now is San Marino. Even Andorra make you work for it nowadays. I fully agree with you on the worst runner up and Norway though. It stinks. Worst runner ups are more likely to come to be because of tough groups than because they are weaker teams.

    Euro nations moaned about too many games, and I guess this is the only way to do it. It works just fine for Euro tournaments, but one team is going to get screwed in World Cups unless Europe gets given another spot, or even half spot. I don't hearany complaints from them thogh, so I guess they're cool with it.

    However, I think the best way to do it would be to have 8 groups, 5 of 7 and 3 of 6. That way, you have Two group winners and two best runners up advancing, and three playoffs for three more places.

    Max games would still be 14 (12 in a 7 team group and 2 more for a playoff)