Who’s not playing in the World Cup? The top teams missing out

World cup soccer fifa brazil
Not all of the world’s best soccer teams will be participating in the World Cup this year.
Credit: Reuters

Thirty-two nations from around the world will battle on the soccer field in the 2014 World Cup, but they don’t all represent all the best sides in the world.

A quarter of the world’s official top 32 teams set by FIFA’s ranking this month will take no part in soccer’s most prestigious tournament. As the world footballing body favors more worldwide representation through its qualification system, many countries in soccer-mad regions, especially in Europe, will miss out.

But if FIFA were to pick the world’s top 32, the following teams not heading to Brazil would make the trip: Ukraine (Ranked No. 16 in the world), Denmark (23), Slovenia (25), Scotland (27), Romania (29), Serbia (30), Panama (31), and Sweden (32).

The following are ranked outside of the top 32 but nevertheless have qualified for the World Cup proper: Honduras (33), Iran (43), Nigeria (44), Ghana (37), Japan (46), Cameroon (56), South Korea (57), and Australia (62).



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