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2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Complete Draws and Formats

973   //    31 Jul 2011, 04:24 IST

The road to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil unfolded for the 166 nations, still vying to be amongst the 31 nations to join the host Brazil in the final round of the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014. The draw for the preliminary round of the World Cup was held in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

Here is the complete list of the draws and formats for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifier has reach its third round with just twenty teams remaining to book the four and half slot available for the Asian Confederations. In the draw under process at Maria da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, all the twenty teams have been divided into five groups with four teams in each group.

Matches will be played in round robin format amongst the group members and top 2 teams from each group enters the fourth round. Matches for the third round will be played from 2 September 2011 to 29 February 2012.

The fourth round, with ten teams will be divided into two groups of five teams each, playing in a round robin format. The top two teams from each group confirms their places for the finals in Brazil while the two third place teams had to clash in a playoff to determine the winner. The fourth round matches are likely to take place between 3 June 2012 and 18 June 2013.

The winner will be involved in an intercontinental face-off with the fifth place team of South America confederation and a win there will only confirm the teams Brazil participation. The continental play-off will be held between from 6-10 September 2013.

Group A
Singapore, Iraq, Jordan, China

Group B
Lebanon, UAE, Kuwait, Korea Republic

Group C
Korea DPR, Syria, Uzbekistan, Japan

Group D
Thailand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Australia

Group E
Indonesia, Bahrain, Qatar, Iran

With 53 nations participating in the qualifications, Europe has the highest number of World Cup quota with as many as 13 places to grab. However the continent follows its long-established simple group system where there are eight groups of six teams and one group of five teams.

Group A: Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland, FYR Macedonia and Wales
Group B: Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Armenia and Malta
Group C: 
Germany, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Faroe Island and Kazakhstan
Group D: 
Netherland, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Estonia and Andorra
Group E: 
Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Albania, Cyprus, Iceland
Group F: 
Portugal, Russia, Israel, Northern Island, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg
Group G: 
Greece, Slovakia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Latvia and Liechtenstein
Group H: 
England, Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova and San Marino 
Group I: 
Spain, France, Belarus, Georgia and Finland

All the teams within each group play in the round robin home and away format and the nine group toppers directly qualifies for the World Cup. The first round matches are slated to be played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013.

The second round is a clash between the best eight runners-up teams paired into four home-and-away series. The four winners of those ties join the nine group winners in the finals. The matches for this round are slated between 15 and 19 November 2013.

Following a simple qualification process, CONMEBOL usually follows a one league qualification process with ten teams. However this time it will be 9 teams with Brazil already qualified as the host.

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela will compete in a round robin league from where the top 4 teams directly qualifies for the World Cup.

The fifth place team will have to play a continental face-off with the Asian Continental representative. If the fifth place team emerged winner in the continental face off, CONMEBOL will have six nations playing in the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Kick off for the qualification will span over two years beginning from 7 October 2011 to 15 October 2013.
Click here to see Schedule

Fifty two out of the 53 African Nations will vie for the 5 slots available to the continent for the 2014 Brazil World Cup. CAF will begin its qualifying campaign with a 12 two-leg knock-out tie to be played amongst the 24 lowest rank team of the continent according to the FIFA ranking.

The first round draws for the CAF are as follows and the matches are likely to be played from 11-15 November 2011.
Pair 1: Seychelles vs Kenya
Pair 2: Guinea-Bissau vs Togo
Pair 3: Djibouti vs Namibia
Pair 4: 
Mauritius vs Liberia
Pair 5: Comoros vs Mozambique
Pair 6: 
Equatorial Guinea vs Madagascar
Pair 7: 
Somalia vs Ethoipia
Pair 8: Lesotho vs Burundi
Pair 9: 
Eritrea vs Rwanda
Pair 10: 
Swaziland vs Congo DR
Pair 11: Sao Tome e Principe vs Congo
Pair 12: 
Chad vs Tanzania

The twelve winners from this round will join the remaining twenty eight teams to make the second round a forty team affair. The forty teams are divided into ten groups of four teams each, playing in a round robin format. The matches are likely to place between 11-15 October and 15-19 November 2013.

Group A: South Africa, Botswana, Central African Republic and Somalia/Ethoipia
Group B: Tunisia, Cape Verde Island, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea/Madagascar
Group C: Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Gambia and Chad/Tanzania
Group D: Ghana, Zambia, Sudan and Lesotho/Burundi
Group E: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger and Sao Tome e Principe/Congo
Group F: Nigeria, Malawi, Seychelles/Kenya and Djibouti/Namibia
Group G: Egypt, Guinea, Zimbabwe and Comoros/Mozambique
Group H: Algeria, Mali, Benin and Eritrea/Rwanda
Group I: Cameroon, Libya, Guinea-Bissau/Togo and Swaziland/Congo DR
Group J: Senegal, Uganda, Angola and Mauritius/Liberia

The toper of each group qualifies for the third round where they will play 5 two-leg knock-out ties. The winner directly qualifies for the world cup.

A total of 35 countries take part to pursue their World Cup final dream which has 3.5 slots booked for the CONCACAF confederation. The first round involved the bottom 10 nations playing a two leg knock out ties. The winners’ join top 7-25 nations, who got a bye to the second round to make the round a 24 team affairs. The second round will be played from 2 September to 15 November 2011.

The 24 teams are then divided into six groups of four teams each and play in a round robin format.  

Group A: El Salvador, Suriname, Cayman Islands and Dominican Republic
Group B: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados and Bermuda
Group C: Panama, Dominica, Nicaragua and Bahamas
Group D: Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia
Group E: Grenada, Guatemala, St. Vincent/Grenadines, Belize
Group F: Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao and US Virgin Island

The winner of each group qualifies for the third round where the top 6 nations await them to make the third round a twelve team affairs. The matches are slated from 8 June to 16 October 2012.

Top 6 Nations are: USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras and Jamaica

In the third round, the twelve teams are divided into three groups of four teams each and again play a round robin matches where the top two teams from each group  advances to the fourth round.

Group A: USA, Jamaica, Group E Winner, Group F Winner
Group B: Mexico, Costa Rica, Group A Winner, Group B Winner
Group C: Honduras, Cuba, Group C Winner, Group D Winner

The six teams in the fourth round play a round robin game amongst themselves from 6 February to 15 October 2013. The top three qualifies for the World Cup while the fourth place will have to take part in an intercontinental face off where they will have to face the winner of Oceania confederation.

Eleven nations take part from the South Pacific confederation with the lowest four playing a round robin format in the first round.

The four lowest rank teams according to the FIFA rankings, who will play in the Round 1 are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

The winner or Round 1 joins the top 7 nations in the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, which will also double as the second qualifying round. Here the eight teams are divided in two groups of four teams each and will play the tournament in a league system with semi-finals and final. Round 2 or the 2012 OFC Nations Cup will be held in Fiji from June 1-12, 2012.

Group A: Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Winner of Round 1
Group B: Fiji, New Zealand, Solomon Island and Papua New Guinea

The four semi-finalists of the cup advance to the third round.

In the third round, the four teams play in a double round-robin held on a home-and-away basis before the winner eventually face the fourth place team of CONCACAF in the intercontinental face-off.

I am a Post Graduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. My love for sports specially football drove me to write about it with the little knowledge and resource I have.
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