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2006 FIFA World Cup qualification



The 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification competition was a series of tournaments organised by the six FIFA confederations. Each confederation — the AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania), and UEFA (Europe) — was allocated a certain number of the 32 places at the tournament. A total of 197 teams entered the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In 2001 FIFA ended automatic qualification of the reigning champion, so that 2002 champions Brazil became first to participate in the qualifying tournament. The hosts (Germany) retained their automatic spot.

The original distribution of places between the six confederations called for Oceania to be given one full spot in the final 32; this idea was seen as virtually guaranteeing a place in the finals to Australia, by far the strongest footballing nation in the region. This decision was reconsidered in June 2003 and the previous distribution of places between Oceania and South America was restored.

The draw for five of the six qualification tournaments took place on 5 December 2003 in Frankfurt, whilst all of the members of the South American federation (CONMEBOL) competed in a single group. Qualification itself began in January 2004.

Qualified teams



The following 32 teams qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup:Includes 10 appearances by DFB representing West Germany between 1954 and 1990. Excludes 1 appearance by DVF representing East Germany between 1954 and 1990.

Participated as a part of Soviet Union between 1930 and 1990.

Includes appearances by pre-division Yugoslavia, as FIFA considers Serbia and Montenegro as a successor of a team.

Includes appearances by Czechoslovakia, as FIFA considers Czech Republic as a successor of a team.13 of the 32 teams subsequently failed to qualify for the 2010 finals: Angola, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Iran, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Qualification process

A total of 197 teams entered the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. Germany, as the host, qualified automatically, leaving 31 spots open for competition.

Starting with these qualifiers, the defending champion (Brazil) was not granted automatic qualification for the first time. FIFA announced the decision in December 2001 at the draw for the 2002 Finals Tournament. The official reason was that the friendly matches to which previous champions were restricted provided inferior preparation to the competitive qualification matches others would have played. Media also noted that the change released an extra place for the contentious distribution of places by confederation.

The final distribution was as follows:

The distribution by confederation for the 2006 FIFA World Cup was:
  • AFC (Asia): 4 or 5 places
  • CAF (Africa): 5 places
  • CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean): 3 or 4 places
  • CONMEBOL (South America): 4 or 5 places
  • OFC (Oceania): 0 or 1 place(s)
  • UEFA (Europe): 13 places (+ Germany qualified automatically as host nation for a total of 14 places)

    UEFA and CAF have a guaranteed number of places, whereas the number of qualifiers from other confederations is dependent on play-offs between AFC's fifth-placed team and CONMEBOL's fifth-placed team, and between CONCACAF's fourth-placed team and OFC's first-placed team. A draw determined the pairings between the four teams involved.

    After the 2006 FIFA World Cup group stage of 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, the percentage of teams from each confederation that passed through to the round of 16 was as follows:
  • AFC (Asia): 0% (0 of 4 places)
  • CAF (Africa): 20% (1 of 5 places)
  • CONCACAF (North, Central American and Caribbean): 25% (1 of 4 places)
  • CONMEBOL (South America): 75% (3 of 4 places)
  • OFC (Oceania): 100% (1 of 1 places)
  • UEFA (Europe): 77% (10 of 14 places)

    Summary of qualification

    Tiebreakers

    For FIFA World Cup qualifying stages using a league format, the method used for separating teams level on points is the same for all Confederations. The rules for separating teams level on points are decided by FIFA and can be found in article 18 part 6d to 6g of the FIFA Regulations 2006 World Cup Germany

    If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked by: # goal difference in all group matches # greater number of goals scored in all group matches # greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams # goal difference in matches between the tied teams # greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams # greater number of away goals scored in matches between the tied teams if only two teams are tied # single play-off at a neutral venue, with two 15-minutes periods of extra time and penalty shoot-out.

    For FIFA World Cup qualifying stages using a home-and-away knockout format, the team that has the higher aggregate score over the two legs progresses to the next round. In the event that aggregate scores finish level, the away goals rule is applied, i.e. the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs progresses. If away goals are also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time are played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, i.e. if there are goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score is still level, the visiting team qualifies by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals are scored during extra time, the tie is decided by penalty shoot-out.

    This is a change from the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where total goal difference was the first tiebreaker.

    A total of 194 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 847 qualifying matches were played, and 2464 goals were scored (an average of 2.91 per match).

    Confederation qualification

    AFC



    44 Asian teams are affiliated with FIFA, but Cambodia, Philippines, Bhutan and Brunei decided not to take part, and Myanmar was banned from the competition, so a total of 39 teams took part, competing for 4.5 places in the World Cup.

    The qualification was composed of three rounds.
  • First Round: The 14 last ranked teams according to FIFA were paired 2-by-2 and played home-and-away knock-out matches.
  • Second Round: The 7 winners joined the other 25 teams where those 32 teams were divided in 8 groups of four teams each. The teams in each group would play against each other home-and-away, and the team with most points in each group would advance to the Third Round.
  • Third Round: The 8 remaining teams were divided in two groups of 4 teams each, that would again play against each other in a home-and-away basis. The two teams with most points in each group would qualify to the World Cup. The two third placed teams would play-off against each other home-and-away. Winner of this play-off would play against the fourth placed team in the Final Round of CONCACAF in an intercontinental play-off for a place in the World Cup.

    Final positions (Third Round)

    Play-off for 5th place (Fourth Round)

    'Bahrain advanced to the AFC–CONCACAF play-off on the away goals rule.

    CAF



    The qualification was composed of two Rounds. 9 teams entered the competition directly on the Second Round: the 5 teams that qualified for the 2002 World Cup Finals (Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia) and the 4 highest-ranking teams in the June 25, 2003 FIFA world rankings (Congo DR, Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Morocco). The other 42 teams were paired 2-by-2 and played knock-out matches home-and-away. The 21 winners would advance to the Second Round.

    In the Second Round, the 30 teams were divided in 5 groups of 6 teams each. Teams in each group would play against each other in a home-and-away basis. The team with most points in each group would qualify to the World Cup.

    The competition also constituted the qualification competition for the 2006 African Nations Cup with the top three nations of each group qualifying (except for Egypt, which qualifies as the host nation, the fourth nation in Egypt's group qualifying in Egypt's place).

    The African qualifying zone saw 4 out of 5 finals places going to World Cup debutants (Angola, Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana). Nigeria missed out on a fourth consecutive finals appearance while Cameroon did not reach their fifth consecutive finals.

    The African zone also featured a group of death — Group 3, which brought together Africa's most frequent World Cup qualifier Cameroon with the two eventual finalists of the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations: Egypt and the Ivory Coast.

    Final positions (Second Round)

    CONCACAF



    The qualification process was divided in three stages. In the first stage, the 34 teams were divided in 10 groups of three teams each and two groups of two teams each. Groups with three teams had two rounds, with the best ranked team according to FIFA in each group entering the competition in the second round. In each group, teams were paired 2-by-2 and played home-and-away matches.

    The 12 winners of the first stage advanced to the second stage, where they were divided into three groups of four teams each. Teams in each group would play against each other home-and-away, and the two teams with most points in each group would advance to the Final Round.

    In the third stage, the six teams were put in a single group, and played against each other home-and-away. The three teams with most points qualified to the World Cup. The fourth placed team advanced to the AFC–CONCACAF play-off against the winner of a play-off between third placed teams in the Third Round of Asia.

    Final positions (Fourth Round)

    CONMEBOL



    10 teams took part, all in a single group. The rules were very simple: the teams would play against each other in a home-and-away basis, with the four teams with most points qualifying to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The fifth ranked team would have to play-off against the best team from Oceania, with the winner of this play-off also qualifying. For the first time, Brazil, the defending champion, was required to go through qualification and was not automatically qualified for the tournament.

    Final positions

    OFC



    12 teams took part, competing for a place in the intercontinental play-off against the fifth-placed team from South America. The winner of this play-off qualified for the World Cup.

    Final positions (Second Round)



    In the Second round, the six teams were put in a single group, and played against each other once. The two teams with most points advanced to a play-off, and played against each other home and away. The winner of this play-off advanced to the intercontinental play-off.

    Final round

    Australia and the Solomon Islands progressed to the final stage.|}

    UEFA



    A total of 51 teams took part, divided in 8 groups (five groups of six teams each and three groups of seven teams each) competing for 13 places in the World Cup. Germany, the hosts, were already qualified, for a total of 14 European places in the tournament. The qualifying process started on 18 August 2004, over a month after the end of UEFA Euro 2004, and ended on 16 November 2005.

    The teams in each group would play against each other in a home and away basis. The team with most points in each group would qualify to the World Cup. The runners up would be ranked. For the sake of fairness, in groups with seven teams, results against the seventh placed team were ignored. The two best ranked runners up would also qualify to the World Cup. The other six runners up were drawn into three home and away knock out matches, winners of those matches also qualifying.

    Final positions (First Round)

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    Play-offs

    Sweden and Poland qualified directly to the World Cup. The other teams had to play off.A draw was held on 14 October 2005 at FIFA headquarters in Zürich to pair each team from Pot 1 with a team from Pot 2. A second draw at the same time and location determined the order of the fixtures.|}

    Inter-confederation play-offs

    There were two scheduled inter-confederation playoffs to determine the final two qualification spots to the finals. The first legs were played on 12 November 2005, and the second legs were played on 16 November 2005.

    CONCACAF v AFC

    CONMEBOL v OFC

    Withdrawals





  • Did not enter





  • Excluded



  • (for refusing to play a qualifier in Iran during 2002 qualifying).

    Goalscorers

    Included goals in the Inter-confederation play-offs.

    ;14 goals
  • Jared Borgetti

    ;12 goals
  • Stern John

    ;11 goals
  • Jaime Lozano
  • Pauleta
  • Emmanuel Adebayor

    ;10 goals
  • Ronaldo
  • Carlos Ruiz

    ;9 goals
  • Didier Drogba
  • Jan Koller
  • Ali Daei
  • Francisco Fonseca

    ;8 goals
  • Paulo Wanchope
  • Alexei Eremenko
  • Obafemi Martins
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović