The Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced its wish to maintain the current format of the European Zone qualifying competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil. Similarly to qualifying for South Africa 2010, the 53 member associations will be split into nine groups, with eight groups consisting of six teams and one consisting of five.
The nine group winners will qualify directly for the finals in Brazil, while the eight runners-up will each contest a two-legged play-off tie to determine the remaining four qualifiers. A total of 13 European teams will take part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the same amount as in 2010.
The approved qualification format must still be ratified by the FIFA Executive Committee, which will convene in Zurich at the end of May. The qualification format forms the basis of the qualifying draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which will take place on 30 July 2011.