European qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup consisted 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 took place between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013 with eight groups of six teams and one of five. The nine group winners qualified 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 went into the play-offs.
The eight teams were drawn into four pairings for two-legged ties played from 15 to 19 November 2013. If scores were level after the second leg the team with the most away goals qualified, whether after 90 minutes or extra time. The four winners qualified 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 were 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.