According to Wikipedia, FIFA uses the following list of tiebreakers when deciding who qualifies to participate in the World Cup (i.e. who gets to compete in the World Cup at all, not who qualifies from the group stages of the World Cup to the knockout rounds):

  1. Points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss)
  2. Overall goal difference
  3. Overall goals scored
  4. Points in matches between tied teams
  5. Goal difference in matches between tied teams
  6. Goals scored in matches between tied teams
  7. Away goals scored in matches between tied teams (if the tie is only between two teams in home-and-away league format)
  8. Fair play points (based on the number of yellow and red cards given)
  9. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee

What's the record for how far down the list they've needed to go? Have they ever needed to go beyond "overall goals scored"?

  • 1
    Note that this question appears to be about the qualification stage - not the group stage of the World Cup finals themselves. Aren't the qualification rules laid down by the individual regional FAs - such as UEFA (for Europe), Central America, South America etc? It's my understanding that FIFA simply dictate how many teams are allowed from each region. In the final stages themselves, in the current competition, it would appear that stages 4,5,6,7 (above) have not been used.
    – WS2
    Dec 16, 2022 at 10:16
  • 3
    @WS2 No, the qualification rules are specified by FIFA; see the regulations as linked from the Wikipedia page linked in the question.
    – Philip Kendall
    Dec 16, 2022 at 16:00


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.