Brazil will stage the 20th FIFA World Cup final tournament in the summer of 2014, with 32 nations competing including 13 from Europe.
Qualifying for the finals runs until late 2013, when the draw will be held. The allocation of places, along with UEFA's 13, will be 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.
Twelve cities are scheduled to host matches: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manuas, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where the final will be played at the rebuilt Estádio Mário Filho, better known as the Maracanã. It was at that stadium where the only previous World Cup held in Brazil concluded in 1950. All four previous World Cups in South America – Uruguay in 1930, Brazil in 1950, Chile in 1962 and Argentina in 1978 – have been won by teams from that continent.
More information can be found on FIFA's official website.
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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.
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.
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.