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The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The first tournament took place in 1930 and it has occurred every four years since then, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War.

Every World Cup tournament other than the first has involved a qualification phase to determine which teams qualify for the tournament itself, often referred to as the World Cup finals (as distinct from the World Cup final, which refers to the final match of the tournament, played to determine the overall winners). 133 of the 211 current FIFA affiliates have not appeared in a World Cup finals tournament. In the tables below all qualification tournaments where the national team played at least one game are counted as attempts to qualify, even if the team subsequently withdrew or were disqualified. Withdrawals and disqualifications before the start of the qualification are excluded, as are occasions where teams withdrew or were disqualified during their campaign and had all their results from that campaign annulled.

By confederation

AFC countries

35 out of the 46 active FIFA and AFC members have not appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Syria 14 1950 2018
 Hong Kong 12 1974 2018
 Malaysia 12 1974 2018
 Thailand 12 1974 2018
 Chinese Taipei 11 1978 2018
 Qatar 11 1978 2018
 Singapore 11 1978 2018
 Bahrain 10 1978 2018
 Bangladesh 9 1986 2018
 Jordan 9 1986 2018
 Macau 9 1982 2018
 Yemen[A] 9 1986 2018
 India 8 1986 2018
 Oman 8 1990 2018
 Pakistan 8 1990 2018
 Vietnam[B] 8 1974 2018
 Lebanon 7 1994 2018
 Nepal 7 1986 2018
 Sri Lanka 7 1994 2018
 Kyrgyzstan 6 1998 2018
 Maldives 6 1998 2018
 Tajikistan 6 1998 2018
 Turkmenistan 6 1998 2018
 Uzbekistan 6 1998 2018
 Cambodia 5 1998 2018
 Mongolia 5 2002 2018
 Palestine 5 2002 2018
 Afghanistan 4 2006 2018
 Laos 4 2002 2018
 Philippines 4 1998 2018
 Brunei 3 1986 2018
 Myanmar 3 2010 2018
 Timor-Leste 3 2010 2018
 Guam 2 2002 2018
 Bhutan 1 2018 2018

CAF countries

41 out of the 54 active FIFA and CAF members have not appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Zambia 13 1970 2018
 Guinea 12 1974 2018
 Kenya 12 1974 2018
 Sudan 12 1958 2018
 Ethiopia 11 1962 2018
 Libya 10 1970 2018
 Malawi 10 1978 2018
 Sierra Leone 10 1974 2018
 Zimbabwe 10 1970 2014
 Congo 9 1974 2018
 Liberia 9 1982 2018
 Madagascar 9 1982 2018
 Tanzania 9 1974 2018
 Uganda 9 1978 2018
 Benin 8 1974 2018
 Burkina Faso 8 1978 2018
 Gabon 8 1990 2018
 Gambia 8 1982 2018
 Mozambique 8 1982 2018
 Lesotho 7 1974 2018
 Mauritius 7 1974 2018
 Namibia 7 1994 2018
 Niger 7 1978 2018
 Swaziland 7 1994 2018
 Botswana 6 1994 2018
 Burundi 6 1994 2018
 Guinea-Bissau 6 1998 2018
 Mauritania 6 1978 2018
 Rwanda 6 1998 2018
 Somalia 6 1982 2018
 Cape Verde 5 2002 2018
 Chad 5 2002 2018
 Equatorial Guinea 5 2002 2018
 Mali 5 2002 2018
 Seychelles 5 2002 2018
 Djibouti 4 2002 2018
 Eritrea 4 2002 2018
 São Tomé and Príncipe 4 2002 2018
 Central African Republic 3 2002 2018
 Comoros 3 2010 2018
 South Sudan 1 2018 2018

CONCACAF countries

24 out of the 35 active FIFA and CONCACAF members have not appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Curaçao[C] 16 1958 2018
 Guatemala 15 1958 2018
 Suriname 14 1962 2018
 Antigua and Barbuda 10 1974 2018
 Guyana 10 1978 2018
 Puerto Rico 9 1974 2018
 Barbados 8 1978 2018
 Dominican Republic 8 1978 2018
 Bermuda 7 1970 2018
 Grenada 7 1982 2018
 Nicaragua 7 1994 2018
 Saint Lucia 7 1994 2018
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7 1994 2018
 Aruba 6 1998 2018
 Belize 6 1998 2018
 Cayman Islands 6 1998 2018
 Dominica 6 1998 2018
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 6 1998 2018
 Anguilla 5 2002 2018
 Bahamas 5 2002 2018
 British Virgin Islands 5 2002 2018
 Montserrat 5 2002 2018
 Turks and Caicos Islands 5 2002 2018
 U.S. Virgin Islands 5 2002 2018

CONMEBOL countries

Venezuela (pictured before a 2008 qualifier) are the only CONMEBOL nation to never qualify for the World Cup

Only one of the 10 active FIFA and CONMEBOL members has never appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Venezuela 13 1966 2018

OFC countries

10 out of the 11 active FIFA and OFC members have not appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Fiji 9 1982 2018
 Solomon Islands 7 1994 2018
 Tahiti 7 1994 2018
 Vanuatu 7 1994 2018
 Cook Islands 6 1998 2018
 Samoa 6 1998 2018
 Tonga 6 1998 2018
 American Samoa 5 2002 2018
 New Caledonia 4 2006 2018
 Papua New Guinea 4 1998 2018

UEFA countries

22 out of the 55 active FIFA and UEFA members have not appeared in the FIFA World Cup final tournament.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number First Last
 Luxembourg 20 1934 2018
 Finland 19 1938 2018
 Cyprus 15 1962 2018
 Albania 12 1966 2018
 Malta 12 1974 2018
 Estonia 9 1934 2018
 Lithuania 9 1934 2018
 Latvia 8 1938 2018
 Faroe Islands 7 1994 2018
 San Marino 7 1994 2018
 Armenia 6 1998 2018
 Azerbaijan 6 1998 2018
 Belarus 6 1998 2018
 Georgia 6 1998 2018
 Kazakhstan 6 1998 2018
 Liechtenstein 6 1998 2018
 Macedonia 6 1998 2018
 Moldova 6 1998 2018
 Andorra 5 2002 2018
 Montenegro 3 2010 2018
 Gibraltar 1 2018 2018
 Kosovo 1 2018 2018

Former countries

Two defunct national football teams took part in qualification but never appeared in the final tournament. This excludes teams whose record has been inherited by successor nations.

Country Qualifying attempts
Number Tournaments
 Saar 1 1954[1]
 South Yemen 1 1986[2]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Figures include  North Yemen records.
  2. ^ Figures include  South Vietnam records.
  3. ^ Figures include  Netherlands Antilles records.

References

  1. ^ Stokkermans, Karel; Jarreta, Sergio Henrique (12 June 2009). "World Cup 1954 Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Stokkermans, Karel; Jarreta, Sergio Henrique (3 January 2000). "World Cup 1986 Qualifying". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 

See also