|Dates 11 Jun 1933 – 24 May 1934|
Goals scored 141
Matches played 26
|Top scorer(s) Isidro Lángara (7 goals)|
Similar 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the first World Cup where the teams had to qualify, since the first edition in 1930 had no qualification rounds (the participating teams were invited by FIFA). This time, a total of 32 teams entered the competition, so FIFA had to organize qualification (or preliminary) rounds to reduce the field to 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 the hosts have ever taken part in the qualification process), while the defending champions Uruguay refused to participate and defend their title because many European nations declined to take part in the 1930 World Cup held in Uruguay.
The 32 teams were divided into 12 groups, based on geographical considerations, as follows:
A total of 27 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 26 qualifying matches were played, and 141 goals were scored (an average of 5.42 per match).
Listed below are the dates and results of the qualification rounds.
The 12 groups had different rules, as follows:
Estonia v Lithuania was not played, since neither team could qualify with a win.
11-1 on aggregate; Spain qualified.
Italy qualified, as Greece withdrew after the first match.
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.
Poland withdrew before the second match.
Romania fielded an ineligible player, so FIFA accordingly awarded Switzerland a 2–0 win for the match.
Switzerland and Romania qualified.
Netherlands and Belgium qualified (Belgium finished above the Irish Free State on goal average).
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.
10-2 on aggregate; Cuba advanced to the Second Round.
12-3 on aggregate; Mexico advanced to the Final Round.