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Competition format

UEFA member nations will account for 13 of the 32 teams at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil after competing in nine qualifying groups and four two-legged play-offs.
Competition format
Spain's Andrés Iniesta scores the winning goal in the 2010 final ©Getty Images

Competition format

UEFA member nations will account for 13 of the 32 teams at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil after competing in nine qualifying groups and four two-legged play-offs.

European qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup consists of a group stage and a play-off round, providing 13 UEFA member nations for the 32-team final tournament in Brazil.

Qualifying group stage
Matches will take place between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013 with eight groups of six teams and one of five. The nine group winners qualify directly for the finals and the eight runners-up with the best record against the teams finishing first, third, fourth and fifth in their section going into the play-offs.

Play-offs
The eight teams will be drawn into four pairings for two-legged ties played from 15 to 19 November 2013. If scores are level after the second leg the team with the most away goals qualify, whether after 90 minutes or extra time. The four winners qualify for the finals.

Final tournament
The allocation for other confederations is: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 4.5, Confederation of African Football (CAF) 5.0, Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) 3.5, South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) 4.5, Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) 0.5, and one slot for the hosts Brazil. The teams will be drawn into eight groups of four with the top two going into the knockout phase.


Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.

http://www.uefa.com/worldcup/season=2010/competitionformat/index.html#competition+format

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