|Dates||20 August 2008 – 18 November 2009|
|Teams||53 (from 1 confederation)|
|Goals scored||725 (2.71 per match)|
|Attendance||6,034,605 (22,517 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Theofanis Gekas (10 goals)|
The European zone of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw 53 teams competing for 13 places at the finals. The qualification process started on 20 August 2008, nearly two months after the end of UEFA Euro 2008, and ended on 18 November 2009. The qualification process saw the first competitive matches of Montenegro.
Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland qualified in the first round by winning their groups. France, Greece, Portugal, and Slovenia qualified via the second round play-offs.
- 1 Format
- 2 Seeding
- 3 Summary
- 4 First round
- 5 Second round
- 6 Qualified teams
- 7 Goalscorers
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Teams were drawn into eight groups of six teams and one group of five teams. The nine group winners qualified directly, while the best eight second-placed teams contested home and away play off matches for the remaining four places. In determining the best eight second placed teams, the results against teams finishing last in the six team groups were not counted for consistency between the five and six team groups.
After initially proposing to use a similar system to recent World Cup and European Championship qualification (based on results across the previous two European qualification cycles), the UEFA Executive Committee decided on 27 September 2007 at its meeting in Istanbul that seeding for the qualifiers would be based on FIFA World Rankings, in accordance with the FIFA World Cup regulations (which note that where teams are ranked on "performance" criteria, the FIFA World Rankings must be used).
The FIFA World Ranking used for seeding was the most recent at the time of the preliminary draw, namely the November 2007 edition. Initially scheduled for 21 November, the release date of the ranking was moved to 23 November to include the final match days of Euro 2008 qualification.
The countries that eventually qualified for the final tournament are emboldened in the table below.
|Pot A||Pot B||Pot C||Pot D||Pot E||Pot F|
The draw for the group stage took place in Durban, South Africa on 25 November 2007. During the draw, teams were drawn from the six pots A to F (see above) into the nine groups below, starting with pot F, which filled position 6 in the groups, then continued with pot E filling position 5, pot D in position 4 and so on.
Table - top row: group winners, second row: group runners-up, third row: others. The winner of each group qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup together with winners of play-off. The play-offs took place between the eight best runners-up among all nine groups. The ninth group runner-up did not qualify.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||6||1||3||25||13||+12||19||2–5||—||1–1||2–1||7–0||4–1|
- Lithuania and Romania are ranked by their overall goal difference.
|Republic of Ireland||10||4||6||0||12||8||+4||18||2–2||—||1–1||1–0||0–0||2–1|
- Cyprus and Montenegro are ranked by their overall goal difference.
- Norway and Scotland are ranked by their overall goal difference.
Ranking of second placed teams
Because one group had one team fewer than the others, matches against the sixth placed team in each group were not included in this ranking. As a result, eight matches played by each team counted for the purposes of the second placed table.
|5||Bosnia and Herzegovina (A)||8||4||1||3||19||12||+7||13|
|8||Republic of Ireland (A)||8||2||6||0||8||6||+2||12|
Rules for classification: 1. Total points, 2. Goal difference, 3. Goals scored, 4. Goals scored away from home, 5. Disciplinary record (yellow card, –1 point; two yellow cards in the same match, –3 points; red card, –3 points; yellow card followed by a direct red card in the same match, –4 points), 6. Drawing of lots
(A) Advanced to the play-offs.
The UEFA second round (often referred to as the play off stage) was contested by the best eight runners up from the nine first round groups. The winners of each of four home and away ties joined the group winners in the World Cup finals in South Africa. Norway, with 10 points, was ranked 9th so failed to qualify for the second round.
Seeding and draw
The eight teams were seeded according to the FIFA World Rankings released on 16 October (shown in parentheses in the table below). The draw for the ties was held in Zürich on 19 October, with the top four teams seeded into one pot and the bottom four teams seeded into a second. A separate draw decided the host of the first leg.
|Pot 1||Pot 2|
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Republic of Ireland||1–2||France||0–1||1–1 (aet)|
|Portugal||2–0||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–0||1–0|
The following 13 teams from UEFA qualified for the final tournament.
- 1 Bold indicates champions for that year. Italic indicates hosts for that year.
There were 725 goals scored over 268 games by 399 different players, for an average of 2.71 goals per game. England were the highest scorers in the European section with 34 goals. Malta did not score any goals, but did score two own goals. The top scorer was Theofanis Gekas of Greece, who scored ten goals.
Note: Goals scored in the play-offs are included.
- 10 goals
- 9 goals
- 7 goals
- 6 goals
- 5 goals
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- 1 own goal
- 2 own goals
- "EXCO unveils World Cup programme". UEFA.com. Geneva: Union of European Football Associations. 25 June 2007. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "All clear for December EURO draw". UEFA.com. Geneva: Union of European Football Associations. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking on Friday 23 November 2007". FIFA.com. Zurich: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 12 November 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Preliminary draw for the 2010 World Cup". FIFA.com. Zurich: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Preliminary Draw Information" (PDF). FIFA.com. Zurich: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Determining Europe's runners-up". FIFA.com. Zurich: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 16 October 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- "Key Decisions Reached in Rio". FIFA.com. Rio de Janeiro: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 29 September 2009. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009.