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- For details, see 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Thirty-two teams from six FIFA confederations play in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Only the host nation is given an automatic berth; the 31 other teams (including, in a departure from previous competitions, the defending champion) had to qualify.
The main surprises in European qualification were the absences of 2002 third-place finishers Turkey (eliminated by Switzerland after a momentous playoff), 2004 European Champions Greece (eliminated by Ukraine), and established sides Denmark (eliminated by Ukraine as well), Russia (eliminated by Portugal), and Belgium (eliminated by Serbia and Montenegro and Spain). In Africa, 2002 quarter-finalists Senegal (eliminated by Togo) and established sides South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria (eliminated, respectively, by Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Angola) unexpectedly missed the trip to the finals.
Despite representing Oceania in qualifying, Australia, from January 1, 2006 onward, is part of the Asian Confederation, and will represent Asia in following World Cups.
see 2006 FIFA World Cup...
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