Brazil staged the 20th FIFA World Cup final tournament in the summer of 2014, with 32 nations competing including 13 from Europe.
Qualifying for the finals ran until late 2013, when the draw was held. The allocation of places, along with UEFA's 13, was 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 hosted matches: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manuas, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where the final was played at the rebuilt Estádio Mário Filho, better known as the Maracanã, and won by Germany. 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 – had been won by teams from that continent.
Russia will stage the 2018 final tournament.
More information can be found on FIFA's official website.
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European qualifying for the 2018 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 Russia (who qualify as by right).
Qualifying group stage
Matches take place between 4 September 2016 and 10 October 2017 with seven groups of six teams and two 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 go into the play-offs.
The eight teams are drawn into four pairings for two-legged ties played from 9 abnd 14 November 2017. If scores are level after the second leg the team with the most away goals qualified, 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 Russia. The teams are 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.