2006 FIFA World Cup qualification

2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
Tournament details
Teams 197 (from 6 confederations)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 847
Goals scored 2464 (2.91 per match)
Top scorer(s) Mexico Jared Borgetti
(14 goals)

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:

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.

Continental zones

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.

Intercontinental play-offs

The teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The winner would qualify.

AFC–CONCACAF intercontinental play-off

12 November 2005
Trinidad and Tobago  1–1  Bahrain
Birchall  76' Ghuloom  72'

16 November 2005
Bahrain  0–1  Trinidad and Tobago
Lawrence  49'
Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Óscar Ruiz (Colombia)

Trinidad and Tobago qualified by the aggregate score of 2–1.

CONMEBOL–OFC intercontinental play-off

12 November 2005
Uruguay  1–0  Australia
Rodríguez  37'

16 November 2005
Australia  1–0  Uruguay
Bresciano  35'
4 – 2 Rodríguez
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 82,698
Referee: Luis Medina Cantalejo (Spain)

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.

Qualified teams

Final qualification status
  Country qualified for World Cup
  Country failed to qualify
  Country did not enter World Cup
  Country not a FIFA member
Team Finals appearance Streak Last appearance
 Angola 1st1
 Argentina 14th92002
 Australia 2nd11974
 Brazil 18th182002
 Costa Rica 3rd22002
 Ivory Coast 1st1
 Croatia 3rd32002
 Czech Republic 1st(1)1(1)
 Ecuador 2nd22002
 England 12th32002
 France 12th32002
 Germany (h) 16th(2)14(2)2002
 Ghana 1st1
 Iran 3rd11998
 Italy 16th122002
 Japan 3rd32002
 South Korea 7th62002
 Mexico 13th42002
 Netherlands 8th11998
 Paraguay 7th32002
 Poland 7th22002
 Portugal 4th22002
 Saudi Arabia 4th42002
 Serbia and Montenegro 2nd(4)11998
 Spain 12th82002
 Sweden 11th22002
  Switzerland 8th11994
 Togo 1st1
 Trinidad and Tobago 1st1
 Tunisia 4th32002
 Ukraine 1st(3)1(3)
 United States 8th52002

(h) – qualified automatically as hosts

1Excludes appearances by Czechoslovakia. If those are counted together, this is their 9th appearance, and their previous appearance was in 1990.

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

External links

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