2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)
The European Zone of qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup saw 53 teams competing for 13 places at the finals in Brazil. The draw for the qualification groups was held at the World Cup Preliminary Draw at the Marina da Glória in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 30 July 2011.
|Dates||7 September 2012 – 19 November 2013|
|Teams||53 (from 1 confederation)|
|Goals scored||749 (2.79 per match)|
|Attendance||6,145,801 (22,932 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Robin van Persie (11 goals)|
The qualification format was the same as 2010. The teams were drawn into eight groups of six teams and one group of five, with the nine group winners qualifying directly for the final tournament. The eight best runners-up (determined by records against the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams in their groups to ensure equity between different groups) were drawn in two-legged play-offs that determined the remaining four qualifying nations.
The qualification process started on 7 September 2012, over two months after the end of UEFA Euro 2012, and ended on 19 November 2013. Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland qualified in the first round by winning their groups. Croatia, France, Greece, and Portugal qualified via the second round play-offs.
All 53 UEFA national teams entered qualification, aiming to secure one of the 13 European Zone slots for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The draw for the qualification groups was held at the World Cup Preliminary Draw at the Marina da Glória in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 30 July 2011. The qualification format was the same as 2010. The teams were drawn into eight groups of six teams and one group of five, with the nine group winners qualifying directly for the final tournament. The eight best runners-up (determined by records against the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams in their groups to ensure equity between different groups) were drawn in two-legged play-offs that determined the remaining four qualifying nations.
The July 2011 FIFA World Rankings were used to seed the teams. In consideration of the delicate political situations of the relationships between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as relations between Russia and Georgia, UEFA requested that FIFA maintain the current UEFA policy not to draw these teams into the same qualification groups – although as Armenia and Azerbaijan were in the same pot they could not be drawn together anyway. The mechanism for keeping Russia and Georgia apart was confirmed by the FIFA Organising Committee on 29 July 2011.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3|
|Pot 4||Pot 5||Pot 6|
The matches were played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013. An initial schedule that includes matches before this date was not ratified by FIFA. A win was awarded 3 points, a draw was awarded 1 point and a loss 0. The team with the most points in each group secured direct qualification for the final tournament of the World Cup.
If two teams had the same number of points the criteria below were used.
|Tie-breaking criteria for group play|
|The ranking in each group is determined as follows:|
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings shall be determined as follows:
|Republic of Ireland||10||4||2||4||16||17||−1||14||1–6||1–2||2–2||3–1||3–0|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||8||1||1||30||6||+24||25||3–1||0–1||3–0||4–1||4–1|
The eight best group runners-up contested the second round, where they were paired into four two-legged (home-and-away) fixtures. The four winners qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Because one group had one team fewer than the others, matches against the last-placed team in each of the six-team groups were not included in this ranking. Teams were ranked by the following parameters in order:
- Highest number of points
- Goal difference
- Highest number of goals scored
The second round draw took place at the headquarters of FIFA in Zurich on 21 October 2013. The October 2013 FIFA World Rankings were used to decide which of the teams would be seeded (shown below in brackets).
|Pot 1||Pot 2|
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
The following 13 teams from UEFA qualified for the final tournament.
- 1 Bold indicates champions for that year. Italic indicates hosts for that year.
- 2 Competed as Soviet Union.
In the qualification tournament, a player would be suspended for the subsequent match in the competition for either getting red card or accumulating two yellow cards in two different matches. UEFA's Control and Disciplinary body has the ability to increase the automatic one match ban for a red card (e.g., for violent conduct). Single yellow card cautions would be erased prior to the play-off portion, and would not carry over. Single yellow cards and suspensions for yellow card accumulations do not carry over to the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament matches. The following players were suspended during the final tournament – for one or more games – as a result of red cards or yellow card accumulations:
- 11 goals
- 10 goals
- 8 goals
- 7 goals
- 6 goals
- 5 goals
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- 1 own goal
- "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil – Preliminary Competition Format and Draw Procedures –" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – July 2011 (UEFA)". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Regulations 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil" (PDF). FIFA. p. 27. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Dates set for African and European qualifying draws". FIFA. 15 June 2013.
- "European hopefuls learn play-off fate". FIFA.com. 21 October 2013.
- "Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2010–12" (PDF). UEFA. p. 27. Retrieved 18 June 2012.