2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
|Teams||197 (from 6 confederations)|
|Goals scored||2464 (2.91 per match)|
A total of 197 teams entered the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. Germany, as the host, qualified automatically, leaving 31 spots open for competition. Starting with these qualifiers, the defending champion (Brazil) was not granted automatic qualification for the first time, as France's disappointing performance and first round elimination in the previous tournament was considered to be due to lack of preparation that the qualifiers could have provided. The final distribution was as follows:
- Europe – represented by UEFA: 51 teams competing for 13 places (Germany qualified automatically as host nation for a total of 14 places)
- Africa – the CAF: 51 teams, 5 places
- South America – CONMEBOL: 10 teams, 4.5 places
- Asia – the AFC: 39 teams, 4.5 places
- North, Central American and Caribbean – CONCACAF: 34 teams, 3.5 places
- Oceania – the OFC: 12 teams, 0.5 places
Each .5 indicates a place in inter-confederation matchups for the last two spots, namely play-offs between AFC and CONCACAF and between CONMEBOL and OFC.
A total of 194 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 847 qualifying matches were played, and 2464 goals were scored (an average of 2.91 per match).
Notes on qualification
For the first time ever, the defending champion (Brazil) did not qualify automatically. The hosts (Germany) retained their automatic spot. In 1934, the defending champions (Uruguay) declined to participate and the hosts (Italy) had to qualify, but in the tournaments between 1938 and 2002 (inclusive), the hosts and the defending champions had automatic berths.
The original distribution of places between the six confederations called for Oceania to be given one full spot in the final 32; this idea was seen as virtually guaranteeing a place in the finals to Australia, by far the strongest footballing nation in the region. This decision was reconsidered in June 2003 and the previous distribution of places between Oceania and South America was restored.
The draw for five of the six qualification tournaments took place on 5 December 2003 in Frankfurt, whilst all of the members of the South American federation (CONMEBOL) competed in a single group. Qualification itself began in January 2004.
To see the dates and results of the qualification rounds for each continental zone, click on the following articles:
- Group 1 – Netherlands qualified. Czech Republic advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 2 – Ukraine qualified. Turkey advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 3 – Portugal qualified. Slovakia advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 4 – France qualified. Switzerland advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 5 – Italy qualified. Norway advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 6 – England qualified. Poland also qualified with the second best record among the runners-up.
- Group 7 – Serbia and Montenegro qualified. Spain advanced to the UEFA play-offs.
- Group 8 – Croatia qualified. Sweden also qualified with the best record among the runners-up.
- Play-offs – Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic qualified over Slovakia, Turkey and Norway respectively.
- Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay qualified. Uruguay advanced to the CONMEBOL–OFC intercontinental play-off.
- USA, Mexico and Costa Rica qualified. Trinidad and Tobago advanced to the AFC–CONCACAF intercontinental play-off.
- Group A – Togo qualified.
- Group B – Ghana qualified.
- Group C – Côte d'Ivoire qualified.
- Group D – Angola qualified.
- Group E – Tunisia qualified.
- Group A – Saudi Arabia and Korea Republic qualified. Uzbekistan advanced to the AFC play-off.
- Group B – Japan and Iran qualified. Bahrain advanced to the AFC play-off.
- Play-off – Bahrain advanced to the AFC–CONCACAF intercontinental play-off over Uzbekistan.
- Australia advanced to the CONMEBOL–OFC intercontinental play-off.
The teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The winner would qualify.
12 November 2005
|Trinidad and Tobago||1–1||Bahrain|
|Birchall 76'||Ghuloom 72'|
16 November 2005
|Bahrain||0–1||Trinidad and Tobago|
Trinidad and Tobago qualified by the aggregate score of 2–1.
Uruguay v Australia
12 November 2005
Australia v Uruguay
16 November 2005
|4 – 2|| Rodríguez |
The aggregate score was tied 1–1 and, since the away goals rule could not be applied, the play-off was decided on a penalty shoot-out. Australia qualified after winning 4–2.
|Team||Finals appearance||Streak||Last appearance|
|Serbia and Montenegro||2nd(4)||1||1998|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1st||1||–|
(h) – qualified automatically as hosts
2Includes 10 appearances by DFB representing West Germany between 1954 and 1990. Excludes 1 appearance by DVF representing East Germany between 1954 and 1990.
3Excludes appearances by pre-division Soviet Union. If those are counted together, this is their 8th appearance.
4Excludes appearances by pre-division Yugoslavia. If those are counted together, this is their 10th appearance. This is also their first and\ last appearance under this name; at the previous qualifying tournament they had competed as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the two parts of the country finally split in June 2006.
13 of the 32 teams subsequently failed to qualify for the 2010 finals: Saudi Arabia (whose streak of 4 tournaments ended in 2006); Croatia and Tunisia (both 3); Costa Rica, Ecuador, Poland and Sweden (2); Angola, Czech Republic, Iran, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine (1).
Did not enter
Included goals in the Inter-confederation play-offs.
- 14 goals
- 12 goals
- 11 goals
- 10 goals
- 9 goals
- 8 goals