Teams That Have Never Qualified For The FIFA World Cup Finals

The Finnish national team at the 2018 FIFA European qualifier. Editorial credit: Ivica Drusany /
The Finnish national team at the 2018 FIFA European qualifier. Editorial credit: Ivica Drusany /

The FIFA World Cup is an international competition that is held after every four years. To qualify, the different countries have to field their teams against other members of an assigned group and battle it out. The groups are assigned to the countries by the governing body, FIFA. Obviously, for the nations to participate in the qualifying stage of the World Cup finals, they have to be members of FIFA. Currently, there are 134 teams that have never qualified for the World Cup finals.

Teams That Have Never Qualified For the FIFA World Cup Finals


The Luxembourg football team has had the most attempts on this list with 20 qualifying attempts. The first attempt came all the way back after the first World Cup in 1934 with the most recent attempt happening in 2018. One of the reasons that they have failed to qualify continuously has been the lack of experienced and star players within their ranks that can galvanize the squad when they need it the most. The strikers have also not been delivering at all. In their latest qualification attempt in 2018, they managed to score a total of only eight goals. With such worrying trends that go back as far as the first time they ever tried, it is unlikely that Luxembourg will compete in the World Cup finals in the near future.


Second on this list is Finland's national team with one less attempt compared to the Luxembourg football team. In the 2000s, Finland may have found the solution to their qualifying problems after going for Roy Hodgson as manager. Roy led the Nordic team to a historic ranking of 30. Unfortunately, this ranking is something that they have never been able to replicate. If they are able to go for another top manager, then they may stand a realistic chance of qualification. If they need inspiration, they should only look to underdogs such as Iceland in the 2018 World Cup finals.


Syria is a surprise on this list with 14 qualifying attempts. The most recent one came in 2018 despite the political instability in the country. Even more surprising is the fact that the closest they have ever come to qualification for the finals is in 2018. The war even threatened to derail their qualification attempts after they were prevented from playing home games within the country. Were it not for Malaysia offering to host them, they would have been disqualified.


This team has made the most attempts, 13, among African countries. Despite three appearances in the Africa Cup of Nations and winning it once in 2012, they have never made it to the World Cup. However, the team has showed promising signs of qualification in recent years, showing that 2022 may just be the year for Zambia to make it to the World Cup.

The Future World Cup Games

The 2018 World Cup final were held in Russia over a 32 day period from June 14 to July 15, 2018. The 2022 finals have been slated for Qatar while the 2026 ones will be hosted by three countries: the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Teams That Have Never Qualified For The FIFA World Cup Finals

RankCountryQualifying attempts
1 Luxembourg20
2 Finland19
3 Curaçao/Netherlands Antilles16
4 Guatemala15
5 Cyprus15
6 Syria14
7 Suriname14
8 Zambia13
9 Venezuela13
10 Hong Kong12
11 Malaysia12
12 Thailand12
13 Guinea12
14 Kenya12
15 Sudan12
16 Albania12
17 Malta12
18 Chinese Taipei11
19 Singapore11
20 Ethiopia11
21 Bahrain10
22 Libya10
23 Malawi10
24 Sierra Leone10
25 Zimbabwe10
26 Antigua and Barbuda10
27 Guyana10
28 Bangladesh9
29 Jordan9
30 Macau9
31 Yemen/North Yemen9
32 Congo9
33 Liberia9
34 Madagascar9
35 Tanzania9
36 Uganda9
37 Puerto Rico9
38 Fiji9
39 Estonia9
40 Lithuania9
41 India8
42 Oman8
43 Pakistan8
44 Vietnam/South Vietnam8
45 Benin8
46 Burkina Faso8
47 Gabon8
48 Gambia8
49 Mozambique8
50 Barbados8
51 Dominican Republic8
52 Latvia8
53 Lebanon7
54 Nepal7
55 Sri Lanka7
56 Lesotho7
57 Mauritius7
58 Namibia7
59 Niger7
60 Swaziland7
61 Bermuda7
62 Grenada7
63 Nicaragua7
64 Saint Lucia7
65 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines7
66 Solomon Islands7
67 Tahiti7
68 Vanuatu7
69 Faroe Islands7
70 San Marino7
71 Kyrgyzstan6
72 Maldives6
73 Tajikistan6
74 Turkmenistan6
75 Uzbekistan6
76 Botswana6
77 Burundi6
78 Guinea-Bissau6
79 Mauritania6
80 Rwanda6
81 Somalia6
82 Aruba6
83 Belize6
84 Cayman Islands6
85 Dominica6
86 Saint Kitts and Nevis6
87 Cook Islands6
88 Samoa6
89 Tonga6
90 Armenia6
91 Azerbaijan6
92 Belarus6
93 Georgia6
94 Kazakhstan6
95 Liechtenstein6
96 Macedonia6
97 Moldova6
98 Cambodia5
99 Mongolia5
100 Palestine5
101 Cape Verde5
102 Chad5
103 Equatorial Guinea5
104 Mali5
105 Seychelles5
106 Anguilla5
107 Bahamas5
108 British Virgin Islands5
109 Montserrat5
110 Turks and Caicos Islands5
111 U.S. Virgin Islands5
112 American Samoa5
113 Andorra5
114 Afghanistan4
115 Laos4
116 Philippines4
117 Djibouti4
118 Eritrea4
119 São Tomé and Príncipe4
120 New Caledonia4
121 Papua New Guinea4
122 Brunei3
123 Myanmar3
124 Timor-Leste3
125 Central African Republic3
126 Comoros3
127 Montenegro3
128 Guam2
129 Bhutan1
130 South Sudan1
131 Gibraltar1
132 Kosovo1
133Saar (defunct)1
134South Yemen (defunct)1

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