FIFA World Cup Eligibility Rules

FIFA World Cup Eligibility Rules

The FIFA World Cup, which is held every four years, brings together some of the best players in the world to play for their respective national teams. However, there are eligibility requirements that players must meet in order to participate. Read on to learn more about what makes a player eligible for the FIFA World Cup.

What are the eligibility rules for the FIFA World Cup?

According to FIFA regulations, each respective football association must ensure two things when selecting their representative team for the World Cup:

  • All players must hold the nationality of its country and be subject to that country’s jurisdiction.
  • All players must be eligible for selection in accordance with all applicable FIFA statutes and regulations.

It is the responsibility of every football association to only field FIFA eligible players. Failure to follow this responsibility will result in consequences decided by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee in accordance with the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

Ineligible Players

If a team plays with an ineligible player on their World Cup roster, the team may face various consequences. If a team has played a game with an ineligible player, they may be forced to forfeit games or be expelled from the tournament. Financial sanctions may also be put in place, forcing the committee of the team the ineligible player was on to reimburse FIFA or other opposing committees for unplayed matches.


According to the FIFA World Cup regulations, teams are allowed to protest a ruling made by FIFA concerning whether a player is eligible for competition. All protests will be made to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, who will make a decision based on the FIFA Disciplinary Code.