|Teams||32 (from 3 confederations)|
|Goals scored||139 (5.35 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Isidro Lángara|
(7 goals each)
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the first World Cup for which teams had to qualify (in the inaugural World Cup of 1930, the participating teams were invited to play by FIFA). When 32 teams entered the 1934 competition, FIFA organized qualification (or preliminary) rounds to select 16 teams for the final tournament. Even Italy, the host of the World Cup, had to qualify (the only time the hosts had to qualify, and one of only two occasions on which the hosts have ever taken part in the qualification process),[a] The previous champions, Uruguay, refused to defend their title because many European nations declined to take part in the 1930 FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay.
A total of 27 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 27 qualifying matches were played, and 141 goals were scored (an average of 5.22 per match). The first match, between Sweden and Estonia, began in Stockholm on 11 June 1933, with Swedish player Knut Kroon scoring the first goal. The final match was played in Rome only three days before the start of the tournament on 24 May 1934, as late entrants the United States beat Mexico in a play-off to become the sixteenth and final team to qualify.
Listed below are the dates and results of the qualification rounds.
The 32 teams were divided into 12 groups, based on geographical considerations, as follows:
- Groups 1 to 8 – Europe: 12 places, contested by 21 teams.
- Groups 9, 10 and 11 – Americas: 3 places, contested by 8 teams.
- Group 12 – Africa and Asia: 1 place, contested by 3 teams (including Turkey).
The 12 groups had different rules, as follows:
- Group 1 had 3 teams. The teams played against each other once. The group winner would qualify.
- Groups 2, 3 and 5 had 2 teams each. The teams played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winners would qualify.
- Group 4 had 3 teams. The teams played against each other twice. The group winner and runner-up would qualify.
- Groups 6, 7 and 8 had 3 teams each. The teams played against each other once. The group winners and runners-up would qualify.
- Groups 9 and 10 had 2 teams each. The group winners would qualify.
- Group 11 had 4 teams. There would be three rounds of play:
- First Round: Haiti played against Cuba in three matches at home. The winner would advance to the Second Round.
- Second Round: Mexico played against the winner of the First Round in three matches at home. The winner would advance to the Final Round.
- Final Round: USA played against the winner of the Second Round in a single match on neutral ground. The winner would qualify.
- Group 12 had 3 teams. After Turkey withdrew before the matches began, the remaining 2 teams played against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winner would qualify.
- Teams highlighted in green qualified for the finals.
- Teams highlighted in orange qualified for the final phase of their group.
L. Bunke 10'
Ericsson 13', 70'
T. Bunke 43'
Andersson 79' (pen)
|Report||Hansson 55', 65'|
Estonia v Lithuania was not played since neither team could qualify with a win.
Lángara 13', 14' (pen.), 46', 71', 85'
Regueiro 65', 70'
|Silva 10'||Report||Lángara 12', 25'|
11-1 on aggregate; Spain qualified.
Meazza 44', 71'
|Baikushev 27'||Report||Sárosi 29'
Szabó 61' (pen.)
|Horvath 19', 22', 33'
|Szabó 9', 58'
Solti 60', 73'
Bulgaria withdrew, and the remaining matches were not played since Hungary and Austria were already assured of the top two spots.
Hungary and Austria qualified.
|Martyna 52' (pen)||Report||Silný 33'
Poland were unable to travel to Prague for the second match as the Polish government denied the team visas for political reasons. Therefore, Czechoslovakia qualified.
Hochstrasser 80' (pen.)
Romania and Switzerland qualified.
|3||Irish Free State||2||0||1||1||6||9||0.67||1|
|Irish Free State||4–4||Belgium|
|Moore 27', 48', 56', 75'||Report||Capelle 15'
S. Vanden Eynde 30'
F. Vanden Eynde 47', 60'
|Netherlands||5–2||Irish Free State|
|Smit 41', 85'
Bakhuys 67', 78'
Bakhuys 62', 84'
|Mengel 27'||Report||Rasselnberg 2', 35', 57', 89'
Hohmann 30', 52', 53'
|Speicher 47'||Report||Aston 3'
Nicolas 26', 67', 85', 89' (pen.)
Germany v France was not played since both teams were already assured of the top two spots.
Germany and France qualified.
Peru withdrew, so Brazil qualified automatically.
Chile withdrew, so Argentina qualified automatically.
|St. Fort 85' (pen.)||Report||López 20' (pen.)
H. Socorro 61'
|St. Fort 25' (pen.)||Report||López 85'|
|Report||H. Socorro 5'
López 18', 86'
F. Socorro 37'
10-2 on aggregate; Cuba advanced to the Second Round.
|Mejía 12', 14', 16'||Report||López 40', 63'|
Mejía 31', 40', 79'
|Alonso 32', 75'
12-3 on aggregate; Mexico advanced to the Final Round.
|Donelli 28', 32', 74', 87'||Report||Alonso 25'
United States qualified.
The Palestine football team consisted exclusively of Jewish and British players. FIFA states in reference to the 1930s Palestine Mandate team that the 'Palestine team' that had participated in previous competitions in the 1930s was actually the forerunner of today's Israel team and as such bears no relation to the national team of the Palestinian authority. However, the region currently known as Palestine is considered "one of the first Asian teams to compete in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers".
|El-Tetsh 11', 35', 51'
Taha 21', 79'
Latif 43', 87'
|Sukenik 54'||Report||Latif 2'
El-Tetsh 7', 22'
11-2 on aggregate; Egypt qualified.
Only six of the teams qualifying for the final competition – Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Romania, and the USA – had already attended the World Cup in 1930. 5 of the 16 teams subsequently failed to qualify for the 1938 finals: Argentina, Austria, Egypt, Spain and United States.
|Team||Finals Appearance||Streak||Last Appearance|
- 7 goals
- 5 goals
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Although South Africa were automatically qualified for the 2010 World Cup as hosts, they took part in the 2010 African qualifiers. The Confederation of African Football used its 2010 World Cup qualifiers as the qualifiers for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, an event for which South Africa had to qualify separately. They were eliminated at the second of three rounds of qualifying.
- According to some sources, Romania fielded an ineligible player. As a consequence, FIFA awarded Switzerland a 2–0 win for the match. However, FIFA reports a 2–2 draw.
- The match to decide whether USA or Mexico would qualify was played in Italy only three days before the start of the final tournament, as the USA team submitted their entry too late. Thus, the match was played on Italian ground, so that the winner would effectively stay for the tournament.
- "History of the FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition (by year)" (PDF). FIFA.com. FIFA. July 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
- Hart, Jim (27 July 2016). "When the World Cup rolled into fascist Italy in 1934". These Football Times. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "FIFA World Cup, 1934 - qualifying". 11v11.com. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
- "World Cup 1934 - Qualifying". RSSSF.com. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- Seal, Brian (29 May 2015). "29 October 1933 – When Crossing The Border Crosses The Line". This Day In Football History. Archived from the original on 17 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- "World Cup 1934 Qualifying". RSSSF.com. Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- "1934 World Cup Italy Qualifiers". FIFA.com. FIFA. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
- Rake, Julian (24 October 2008). "A long wait for a home game". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "FIFA Fact Sheet: History of the FIFA World Cup (TM) Preliminary Competition (see page 43)" (PDF). FIFA.com. FIFA. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "Palestine (PLE)". FIFA.com. FIFA. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2011.