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Why is Italy not in the World Cup?

Getting qualified for the world cup or becoming a participant of it is a great honor for any country but unfortunately only 32 nations in the World can be blessed with this honor at once. Since 1930, when the World Cup was introduced for the first time in football history, a lot of Nations have been blessed with the honor of playing and hosting the FIFA World Cup. This time, the FIFA World Cup is going to be held in Qatar in 2022 which would be the 22nd world cup since it started. 

Since the announcement of the FIFA World Cup 2022 has been made, everyone has become excited to know which teams are going to play the tournament. But only a few times it happens that people ask about the countries who are not there in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Well, I think it’s a question worth answering because there’s not just one, two or three but a lot of national squads not competing in the tournament. So let’s take a look at all the biggest nations who are exempted from playing the World Cup. 

Which teams are exempted from the World Cup?

If you are a regular football viewer, you must have read how many and which nations are going to play the FIFA World Cup Qatar this time. But you might not know that one of the biggest nations with best ever football World Cup records are also exempted from the tournament this time. And Italy is one of them. The list of missing nations from 2022 World Cup is as follows:


So as we said, Italy is the biggest nation missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. Though Italy is ranked the seventh best international squad as of FIFA’s world ranking, it couldn’t make it to the Qatar World Cup. How? So everyone’s favorite team Italy (Azzurri) lost a qualifying match 1-0 to North Macedonia after a 92nd minute goal vanished their dreams. And the moment marked the second World Cup Italy failed to qualify for. 


In the last decade, Colombia shone as one of the rising squads from South America. Colombia played the qualifying matches and finished sixth in the CONMEBOL’s qualifying standings – one point behind Peru as a playoff while three behind Ecuador for an automatic berth. 10 behind Italy, Colombia is ranked 17th best football squad as per FIFA’s World Ranking. In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Colombia managed to win its group before losing in a penalty shootout to England in the Round 16. 


Sweden is ranked 20 in the list of best international squads according to FIFA’s World Ranking. Following a shock run in 2018 which also included a ticket to quarter-finals, Sweden lost to Poland in order to get qualified for a berth. Also in 2018, Sweden, one of the FIFA associated members topped a group featuring Germany and Mexico as well but unfortunately lost to England in a 2-0 match in the quarters. 


Here is another victim from South America who despite being one of the most solid and strong teams couldn’t make it to the FIFA World Cup Qatar. Well, it may not come as a surprise to everyone because during the last few years, Chile lost its form. The nation has some of the greatest and notable players such as Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal in lead roles in its national team. Despite having such outstanding players leading the nation, Chile couldn’t make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well. But in 2014 and 2010, it just didn’t make it to the tournament but also reached round 16. Currently, this nation is ranked 31 as per FIFA’s World Ranking.


Ten before Chile, Peru is the 21st ranked nation according to FIFA World Ranking. It stands next behind Sweden as one of the biggest nations who missed out on the FIFA World Cup Qatar. It lost to Australia in a qualifying playoff final due to an engrossing penalty shootout. Talking about the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Peru finished third in the group stage standing behind France and Denmark. 


Here comes the football country of South Africa. Lately, Egypt has been very active at football and emerged as a rising star. It competes in the African football federation, CAF to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. The Liverpool star Mohamed Salah hails from Egypt and continues to lead the Egyptian men’s team. If Egyptian men’s team ii’s a news story, then Mohamed Salah has to be its headline. But what made it quite challenging for Salah to acquire victory was his clubmate Sadio Mane, his competitor who played for Senegal as a result of which Egypt lost it. Currently, Egypt is ranked 40 in the World ranking. 

Other than above-mentioned nations, the notable teams who missed out on the 2022 World Cup include Nigeria (31), Ukraine (27), Algeria (35), Russia (35) and a few more. 

Teams that never participated in World Cup

You might be surprised to know that there are a few national teams that have never qualified for the tournament or never intended to participate in it in the first place. As you know, there are more than 200 countries in the world out of which only 32 can qualify for the tournament at once. But as it has been held for over 20 times, many of the nations have participated in the tournament but still there are a few nations who despite making several attempts couldn’t qualify for the tournament. Here are a few top names:

  1. Luxembourg: 20 Attempts 
  2. Finland: 19
  3. Curacao/Netherlands Antilles: 16
  4. Guatemala: 15
  5. Cyprus: 15

Why did Italy not qualify for the 2022 World Cup?

As we already told you, Italy could not make it to the FIFA World Cup Qatar despite having one of the top ranked international teams. In 2014, Italy played in the world cup for the last time. Since then, it didn’t compete in the tournament. Though it made an attempt to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it lost to North Macedonia and gave up the last chance to play World Cup Qatar. 

How many teams qualified for the 2022 World Cup?

Since 1998, the number of qualifying countries for the world cup has been 32 which will extend to 48 from World Cup 2026 onwards. A total of 32 international teams including the hosting nation, Qatar will compete to win the men’s world cup and become the Champion.  Other than Qatar, 31 qualified Nations have earned a ticket to the event through regional qualifying matches. Qatar had a free ticket to the event along with the right to host the world cup. 32 teams coming from all around the world represent distinct regions of the earth in order to ensure equal representation for every region. 

Which countries will play in the World Cup 2022?

32 teams which are going to play in the 2022 World Cup have been selected from different regions. 13 qualified Nations for the 2022 World Cup are from Europe, four from Asia, four from South America, 5 from Africa and the last 4 teams have been qualified from North America and Australia, a member of the Asian confederation. But the most important thing is which 32 teams qualify for the upcoming next world cup. 

National teams selected from Europe are Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Croatia, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and Wales. While Qatar (automatically qualified due to having the right of hosting), Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Korea, Japan and Australia have qualified for the World Cup from Asia. Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay from South America. While the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada will represent North America. Nations like Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon will represent Africa in the World Cup 2022. 

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