The National Teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup

Teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup – For any soccer team, the main aim is to participate in the FIFA World Cup, where players compete against the best players from the top teams. It is sheer hard work and patience that pays off after getting qualified for the world cup tournament. However, there are national teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World cup, where you will find the list below.

Teams participating in the FIFA World cup are recognized worldwide and thus national teams strive hard to mark their presence in this important event.

Teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup

So far in the history of the FIFA World Cup, a total of 79 national teams have participated in the tournament since its inception. Brazil, Germany, and Italy are the only teams to have played and won the most editions.

Argentina and France have been consistent participants bagging the title twice.

There are also many teams who have taken a long time to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. These teams took much more time to qualify for the world cup, mainly due to social and political independence.

Teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup
Teams that took the longest time to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup

7 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

After 7 decades, many African and American teams made their world cup debuts at the Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup. This included Angola, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana and many more. Also, the Asian teams like China, Korea, and Japan were able to compete and made their presence felt.

  • Angola, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • Ghana, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • Ivory Coast, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • Trinidad & Tobago, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • Togo, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • Ukraine, 76 years to participate (1930 – 2006)
  • China, 72 years to participate (1930 – 2002)
  • Ecuador, 72 years to participate (1930 – 2002)
  • Senegal, 72 years to participate (1930 – 2002)
  • Slovenia, 72 years to participate (1930 – 2002) (for geopolitical reasons)

6 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

Croatia, due to geopolitical reasons had to wait 6 decades but was finally able to compete in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The national team of Japan got a chance to enter the event in 1998 and thereafter have been consistently participating in every edition.

  • Croacia, 58 years to participate (1930 – 1998) (for geopolitical reasons)
  • Jamaica, 58 years to participate (1930 – 1998)
  • Japan, 68 years to participate (1930 – 1998)
  • South Africa, 58 years to participate (1930 – 1998)
  • Greece, 64 years to participate (1930 – 1994)
  • Nigeria, 64 years to participate (1930 – 1994)
  • Saudi Arabia,  64 years to participate (1930 – 1994)
  • Costa Rica, 60 years to participate (1930 – 1990)
  • Ireland, 60 years to participate (1930 – 1990)
  • United Arab Emirates, 60 years to participate (1930 – 1990)

5 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

Cameroon after 52 years were successful in featuring at the 1982 World Cup. Denmark and Canada also had to wait for a long time to experience their first world cup.

  • Canada, 56 years to participate (1930 – 1986)
  • Denmark, 56 years to participate (1930 – 1986)
  • Iraq, 56 years to participate (1930 – 1986)
  • Algeria, 52 years to participate (1930 – 1982)
  • Cameroon, 52 years to participate (1930 – 1982)
  • Honduras, 52 years to participate (1930 – 1982)
  • Kuwait, 52 years to participate (1930 – 1982)
  • New Zealand, 52 years to participate (1930 – 1982)

4 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

The national teams of Peru, Haiti, Morocco, DR Congo, and Israel took less time than the other national teams almost four decades to experience the FIFA world cup competition.

  • Iran, 48 years to participate (1930 – 1978)
  • Tunisia, 48 years to participate (1930 – 1978)
  • Australia, 44 years to participate (1930 – 1974)
  • DR Congo, 44 years to participate (1930 – 1974)
  • Haiti, 44 years to participate (1930 – 1974)
  • El Salvador, 40 years to participate (1930 – 1970)
  • Israel, 40 years to participate (1930 – 1970)
  • Morocco, 40 years to participate (1930 – 1970)
  • Peru, 40 years to participate (1930 – 1970)

3 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

Colombia after 32 years, made its first appearance as a national team in the 1962 World Cup. Also, Bulgaria, North Korea, and Portugal were showcased in the world cup until 1966.

  • North Korea, 36 years to participate (1930 – 1966)
  • Portugal, 36 years to participate (1930 – 1966)
  • Bulgaria, 32 years to participate (1930 – 1962)
  • Colombia, 32 years to participate (1930 – 1962)

2 decades to qualify for the FIFA World Cup

It took more than 20 years for 8 national teams including world cup champion England to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

  • Northern Ireland, 28 years to participate (1930 – 1958)
  • Russia, 28 years to participate (1930 – 1958)
  • Wales, 28 years to participate (1930 – 1958)
  • Russia, 28 years to participate (1930 – 1958)
  • Korea, 24 years to participate (1930 – 1954)
  • Scotland, 24 years to participate (1930 – 1954)
  • Turkey, 24 years to participate (1930 – 1954)
  • England, 20 years to participate (1930 – 1950)

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