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(Photo: Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr, CC BY 3.0)

FIFA is a non-profit organization that describes itself as an international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. It is the highest governing body of association football.

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

The FIFA World Cup qualifiers are organized by the 6 FIFA confederations to decide 31 of the 32 teams that would feature in the world’s biggest sporting event, every 4 years.

There are over 200 countries that generally participate in the qualifiers across the globe. Here are the number of teams that can qualify from each region (as per confederations). The hosts secure automatic qualification and are not included in this count.

  • AFC (Asia) – 4/5
  • CAF (Africa) – 5
  • CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) – 3/4
  • CONMEBOL (South America) – 4/5
  • OFC (Oceania) – 0/1
  • UEFA (Europe) – 13

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is not only the biggest international football tournament in the world but also is the greatest spectacle in all of sport. It features the 32 best countries around the world as they face off in a league format at the beginning with teams being divided into 8 groups of 4 each. Teams play against each opposition in their group once and the top 2 teams qualify for the knockout stages.

The knockout stage of the World Cup is a single-elimination tournament so if a game is not decided in 90 minutes then it goes into extra time followed by penalties if the game is not decided after 120 minutes.

FIFA has approved a 48-team FIFA World Cup that will consist of 16 groups with 3 teams each. Here, the top 2 teams from each group will qualify for the round of 32 knockout stages. However, this will be applicable from 2026 onwards.