Matches played 22
|Goals scored 96|
|Top scorer(s) Fricis Kaneps (5 goals)|
Similar 1950 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification, 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification
1938 fifa world cup qualification
A total of 37 teams entered the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament. For the first time the title holders and the host country were given automatic qualification. Therefore, France, as the hosts, and Italy, as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 14 spots open for competition.
- 1938 fifa world cup qualification
- Group 4
- Group 5
- Final round
- Group 10
- Group 11
- Group 12
- Qualified teams
Due to the Spanish Civil War, Spain withdrew from the competition. The remaining 34 teams were divided into 12 groups, based on geographical considerations, as follows:
However, due to the withdrawal of Austria after qualifying (they had been annexed by Germany), only 15 teams actually competed in the final tournament. FIFA did not offer participation to the runner-up of the group that Austria had played in, Latvia.
A total of 21 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 22 qualifying matches were played, and 96 goals were scored (an average of 4.36 per match).
The 12 groups had different rules, as follows:
Germany and Sweden qualified.
Poland finished above Yugoslavia on goal average, and thus qualified.
Egypt were to play Romania in December 1937 however Egypt refused to play Romania during the Ramadan month, Egyptian officials had argued it was "impossible" to play football during that time period. Egyptian officials went on to invite Austrian club side First Vienna FC to Egypt to participate in a friendly game against the national team during the holy month. As a result, Egypt were withdrawn from the competition by FIFA, so Romania qualified automatically.
Greece qualified for the final round.
Latvia qualified for the final round.
Austria qualified, but was later incorporated by Germany during the Anschluss. FIFA offered the place to England (winner of the 1937–38 British Home Championship), who had opted not to enter the competition, but they declined the offer; FIFA decided not to allow anyone else to qualify, leaving the World Cup one team short.
Netherlands and Belgium qualified.
Argentina withdrew, so Brazil qualified automatically.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Dutch Guiana, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States all withdrew, so Cuba qualified automatically.
Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and the Philippines all withdrew, so Dutch East Indies qualified automatically.