17 Most: Belgium, Brazil, France, Mexico, USA, Yugoslavia
0 least: Afghanistan - member since 1948
Same Country, Different Name
Because of the political changes at their countries, some nations entered the cups
in different names for some competitions.
Benin as Dahomey in 1974 Burkina Faso as Upper Volta in 1978 Congo Democratic Republic as Zaire from 1970 to 1998 Czech Republic and Slovakia as Czechoslavakia from 1934 until 1994. They split in 1993
and completed the 1994 qualifiers as RCS - Representation of Czechs and Slovaks Germany also as Saarland in 1954 and German Democratic Republic from 1958 until 1990
before uniting back again Indonesia as Dutch East Indies as 1938 Ireland Republic as Irish Free States in 1934 and 1938 Israel as Palestine in 1934 and 1938 Myanmar as Burma in 1950 Netherlands Antilles as Curaçao in 1958 Russia as USSR from 1958 until 1994 Sri Lanka as Ceylon in 1974 Surinam as Dutch Guyana in 1938, 1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974 Vietnam SR also entered as South Vietnam in 1974 and 1978 Yemen entered as both North Yemen and South Yemen in 1986 and 1990 Serbia Montenegro as Kingdom of Serbia and Montenegro in 1930, 1934, and 1938 and as Yugoslavia in 1948 through 2002 Zimbabwe as Rhodesia in 1970.
Finals without Qualifications
Host countries and the defending champions qualify to the Finals automatically.
However, there were some other countries qualified to the Finals because their opponents
withdrew from the qualifiers and they qualified without playing any games.
The World Cup 1930 also was played without a qualification round.
The countries which qualified without playing qualifications are as follows:
-w denotes by withdrawals, -h by host, -c by champion.
Argentina (5 times): 1930, 1934-w, 1978-h, 1982-c, 1990-c
Belgium (1): 1930
Bolivia (2): 1930, 1950-w
Brazil (8): 1930, 1934-w, 1938-w, 1950-h, 1962-c, 1966-c, 1974-c, 1998-c
Chile (4): 1930, 1934-w, 1950-w, 1962-h
Cuba (1): 1938-w
Egypt (1): 1934-w
England (2): 1966-h, 1970-c
France (4): 1930, 1938-h, 1998-h, 2002-c
Germany (4): 1974-h, 1958-c, 1978-c, 1994-c, 2006-h
India (1): 1950-w
Italy (3): 1938-c, 1986-c, 1990-h
Japan (1): 2002-h
Korean Republic (1): 2002-h
Mexico (2): 1970-h, 1986-h
Paraguay (2): 1930, 1950-w
Peru (1): 1930
Romania (1): 1930
Spain (1): 1982-h
Uruguay (3): 1930, 1950-w, 1954-c
USA (2): 1930, 1994-h
Yugoslavia (1): 1930
Italy played the qualifiers in 1934 even though they were hosting the cup.
Uruguay did not use their free entry in 1934 as defending champions.
Refusals of Entries
FIFA did not allow some countries to enter the World Cups for several reasons.
These are the countries:
77 countries withdrew, disqualified, suspended, excluded, expelled for several reasons
in 17 World Cups.
The most unusual withdrawal reason came from India in 1950. India have qualified to the
finals without playing a game(opponents withdrew). However they withdrew from the Finals
to protest FIFA since they forbid the players to play with bare feet.
Withdrawals from the Finals
Three countries withdrew from the Finals after qualifying in 1950:
India, Scotland, Turkey.
FIFA offered Scotland and Turkey's entries to France and Portugal which were eliminated.
They refused to play in the Finals as well.
Yugoslavia also refused to play the Third-Place game in 1930.
In 1958, no countries from Asia wanted to play Israel and Israel won the Asian group
by default. However, FIFA asked Israel to play with one of the eliminated second teams
from Europe. Belgium refused the offer and Israel played Wales. Wales beat Israel in both
games and became the only country which qualified to the Finals after being eliminated
Sierra Leone also had a second chance in 1958. They lost to Burundi in the first round.
Burundi withdrew before the second round due to the war in their country. FIFA decided that
Sierra Leone should play in the second round replacing Burundi. They couldn't make the
Finals and became the only country which were eliminated twice for the same cup.