CONCACAF 2010 World Cup Qualifying

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

In the qualification process for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the six FIFA confederations were allocated a share of the 31 remaining spots on the basis of the strength of their teams. The distribution is:

UEFA and CAF have a guaranteed number of places, the number of qualifiers from other confederations is dependent on play-offs between the highest placed teams in the qualification tournaments not guaranteed a place in the finals:

  • CONCACAF 4th place v CONMEBOL 5th place
  • AFC 5th place v OFC winner

At the close of entries on 15 March 2007, 204 out of the 208 FIFA members (including hosts South Africa) had entered the preliminary qualifying competition for the 2010 World Cup.

Only three AFC members: Brunei, Laos and the Philippines had failed to register for the tournament.

Bhutan were allowed to enter at the last minute and were included in the Asian preliminary draw, Papua New Guinea were disqualified from the Oceania Preliminary competition, and Brunei and the Philippines had their entries rejected (having missed the deadline). The final number of teams entered breaks the previous record of 199 entrants set in 2002. However, five of those teams withdrew during qualifying: Bhutan, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Guam and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Qualified teams

Team qualified for the World Cup.
Team may still qualify for the World Cup.
Team cannot qualify for the World Cup, but still has qualifying matches left.
Team cannot qualify for the World Cup.
Country did not enter World Cup.
Country is not part of FIFA.

The following teams have qualified to date:

Team Qualified As Finals Appearance Consecutive World Cups Last Appearance Previous Best Performance
style="text-align:left;" Host 3rd 1 2002 1st Round (1998, 2002)

Summary of remaining qualification

Legend for following table
Federations whose qualifying campaign is still in session.
Federations that have finished their qualifying campaign.

Confederation Teams started Teams still involved in qualifying tournament Places in finals Qualifying end date
UEFA 53 53 13 TBA
CAF 52 23 5 TBA
CONMEBOL 10 10 4 or 5 TBA
AFC 43 10 4 or 5 21 November 2009
CONCACAF 35 12 3 or 4 TBA
OFC 10 1 0 or 1 21 November 2009

Qualification groups

The qualification process commenced in August 2007 and will be completed by November 2009. An initial draw for preliminary qualification (qualifying groups in Oceania, and knockout ties in CAF and the AFC) had been announced for Zurich on 28 May 2007, but none was held.

Initial groups for the Oceania qualification were eventually held in Auckland, New Zealand in early June, with preliminary draws for the Asian and African qualification announced in August.

The draw for the main 2010 World Cup qualifying groups was held in Durban, South Africa on November 25 2007 (34 teams were eliminated before the actual draw - 6 from the OFC, 5 from CAF and 23 from the AFC). CONMEBOL qualification also has started, and there will be no draw for this confederation, as all 10 members play in the same group, and the order of fixtures is the same as for the 2006 qualification rounds. The 4 remaining teams from OFC started playing the final stage as a single group, so no draw is needed also. Therefore, the draw of 25th November involved 156 FIFA members from the original 205 entries, divided as follows: UEFA – 53 entries in draw; CAF – 48 entries in draw (original 53 minus 5 preliminary round losers and withdrawals); AFC – 20 entries in draw (original 43 minus 23 1st and 2nd round losers and withdrawals); and CONCACAF – 35 entries in draw.

As the host nation, South Africa qualifies automatically. As in 2006, the holders - Italy - do not qualify automatically. If they do qualify they will be seeded similar to the way Brazil was in the 2006 tournament.

As of 11 October 2008, 108 teams have a chance to win one of the final 31 spots in the World Cup Finals. The breakdown by continent of nations that can still qualify is:

South America (4.5 qualify): 10

North America (3.5 qualify): 12

Africa (5.0 qualify): 22

Europe (13 qualify): 53

Asia (4.5 qualify): 10

Oceania (0.5 qualify): 1

League format tiebreakers

For FIFA World Cup qualifying stages the method used for separating teams level on points is the same for all Confederations, as decided by FIFA themselves. If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked by:

  1. goal difference in all group matches
  2. greater number of goals scored in all group matches
  3. greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams
  4. goal difference in matches between the tied teams
  5. greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams
  6. drawing of lots, or a play-off (if approved by FIFA)

Africa (CAF)

(53 teams competing for 6 berths, including South Africa as host)

The CAF qualification process began with a preliminary round played on 13 October and 17 November 2007 to narrow the field to 48 teams, and then 12 groups of 4 teams were drawn in Durban in November 2007. However, Eritrea later withdrew, leaving one group with only 3 teams. The 12 winners and 8 best runners-up advance to the next stage, in which they will be drawn to 5 groups of 4 teams. The winners of these groups will qualify to the World Cup finals.

The qualifying competition for the 2010 World Cup will be combined with the qualification process for the 2010 African Cup of Nations. Since South Africa is hosting the World Cup, it has automatically qualified, although it (unlike hosts in previous qualifying tournaments since 1938) plays in the qualifiers themselves to facilitate the use of the same set of qualifying matches for the 2010 African Cup of Nations.

Had South Africa advanced to the third round (second group stage), their matches would not have been counted in determining who advances to the World Cup finals. However, South Africa have been eliminated from the qualifiers. This means that they cannot qualify for the African Cup of Nations, and all matches in Round 3 count towards World Cup qualification.

As of September 12, 2008 Ethiopia was excluded from the competition, and all of their results cancelled due to non-compliance from the federation with an agreement made with FIFA, meaning that their group, containing Morocco, Mauritania and Rwanda now only contains 3 teams as well.

Current positions (Second Round)


  • Teams highlighted in green qualified for the Third Round.
  • Teams highlighted in red are unable to qualify for the Third Round.

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Group 7
Group 8
Group 9
Group 10
Group 11
Group 12

Asia (AFC)

(43 teams competing for 4 or 5 berths; a playoff against OFC determines which confederation gets the extra berth)

Two preliminary rounds (one in October 2007 and one in the first half of November) narrowed the field from 43 to 20 prior to the group stage draw in Durban on 25 November 2007.

The group stage draw divided the 20 remaining sides into 5 groups of 4, which were played from February to June 2008, from which the winners and runners-up advanced to the final group stage. The winners and runners-up from 2 final groups of 5 nations (playing from September 2008 to June 2009) will qualify automatically for the World Cup finals, with the 2 third-placed sides playing off in September 2009 for the right to compete against the Oceania winner, New Zealand, for a final qualification spot (with matches played in October and November 2009).

The knock-out preliminary rounds themselves were somewhat unusual, with all 38 AFC sides that did not qualify for the 2006 World Cup playing in the first knock-out round, but the 11 best-ranked winners from that round receiving byes in the second round (and only the 8 lowest-ranked winners competing to reduce the fields of teams to 20).

Current positions (Fourth Round)

Group A
Group B

Europe (UEFA)

(53 teams competing for 13 berths)

The European qualification games started in August 2008 after EURO 2008. Eight groups of six teams and one group of five will contest the European qualifying competition. As a result the nine group-winners will qualify directly, while the best eight of the nine second-placed teams will contest home and away play-off matches for the remaining four places.

Current positions

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Group 7
Group 8
Group 9

North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF)

(35 teams competing for 3 or 4 berths; a playoff against CONMEBOL determines which confederation gets the extra berth)

The CONCACAF qualification process is identical to that for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, except that as Puerto Rico competed this time (they were the only CONCACAF member not to enter 2006 qualification), there were 11 matches instead of 10 in the first preliminary round, and thus 13 teams instead of 14 received a bye to the second preliminary round. The two preliminary rounds, played in the first half of 2008, have reduced the 35 entrants to 24 and then 12 teams. 3 semi-final groups of 4 will be played between August and November 2008, with the top two in each group advancing to a final 6-team group (to be held during 2009). The top 3 of this group will qualify to the World Cup finals; the 4th team will go to the playoff against the 5th-place CONMEBOL team.

Current positions (Third Round)

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Oceania (OFC)

(10 teams competing for 0 or 1 berth; a playoff against AFC determines which confederation gets the extra berth. Tuvalu also played in the qualifying tournament, but was not an entrant to the World Cup qualification)

The qualification process began with a tournament at the 2007 South Pacific Games in August 2007. The top three (New Caledonia, Fiji, and Vanuatu, respectively) joined New Zealand in a 4-team group, playing home and away. New Zealand won the group, and will play a home and away playoff with the fifth-place Asian nation for a World Cup berth.

Current positions


  • Team highlighted in green qualified for the play-off against an AFC team.
  • Teams highlighted in red are unable to qualify for the play-off against an AFC team.

OFC Nations Cup

South America (CONMEBOL)

(10 teams competing for 4 or 5 berths; a playoff against CONCACAF determines which confederation gets the extra berth)

The CONMEBOL qualification process again features a league system (home and away matches) for a single group of 10 associations, with matches played from October 2007 to October 2009. The fixture list is identical to that used in the qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. To limit the amount of travel by European-based players to South America, CONMEBOL's schedule uses nine 'double match days' (with two sets of matches held within a few days of each other). The top 4 teams will qualify to the World Cup finals, the 5th team will go to a playoff against the 4th-place CONCACAF team, which would be played on November 14 and 18, 2009.

Current positions

After Round 8


External links

Search another word or see CONCACAF 2010 World Cup Qualifyingon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature