World Cup 2014 qualifiers, groups and standings in tables
As we contemplate another major football tournament the World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be where national sides aim to become noticed as one of the elite, and with the hosts on 5 stars for the most World Cup wins we expect they will be the favourites. Holders Spain may have added the Euro Cup to their recent list of honours proving they also major contenders, but the likes of Germany, Argentina and Italy are also big tournament players, therefore, today we are looking at the World Cup 2014 qualifiers, the groups and the 2014 FIFA World Cup standings.
On the official FIFA website they highlight the ten group winners in Africa which will be whittled down to 5 spots available at the tournament, while the Asian Zone has 4.5 spots available with two top teams from each group directly qualifying. The Asian Zone will also have the two third-placed sides challenge in a two-legged game to then enter another play-off with another side from a different continent.
Qualified Teams from the Asian Zone include Australia, Japan, Iran and the Korea Republic, while the heavily congested European Zone consists of nine World Cup qualifying groups with 52 teams and of these 13 teams will qualify. Those who have already booked their place out of the World Cup 2014 qualifiers include Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, England, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the North, Central American and Caribbean Zone only 3.5 spots are available out of 35 teams and the three top teams will be through to the World Cup while the fourth placed side will have to playoff against New Zealand from the Oceanic Zone.
From this we are aware that Costa Rica, Honduras and the USA have already qualified, while the South American Zone includes Brazil who qualify as hosts, and the nine remaining sides with have to play-off in a two-legged system for the 4.5 spots available. The teams who have already qualified include Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.
Those wanting to see how the European World Cup groups stand can see the tables through this link, and check out some of the top sides of Europe including some emerging powers that may have come as a surprise. Belgium qualified through a tough group without a loss, as well as Switzerland, while Bosnia-Herzegovina had only conceded one game.
For more related news in Europe the FIFA website highlight the play-off draw procedures and the latest reports on all the teams still looking to book a place in the World Cup groups for next year.
Once all the play-offs are out of the way we can look forward to the draw for the 2014 World Cup tables on the 6th December 2013 in Bahia, Brazil. Do you think the hosts Brazil will be able to get that sixth star next year? Or would you like to see a top side win that hasn’t won it before like the Netherlands, Portugal or even a relative outsider.