Qualifying was completed on November 18, 2009.
Again there will be 32 participating nations. South Africa have been joined by five other African nations, plus 13 from Europe, five from South America, four from Asia, three from Concacaf and one from Oceania.
Hosts - South Africa
From Europe/UEFA - Denmark
From Europe/UEFA - England
From Europe/UEFA - France
From Europe/UEFA - Germany
From Europe/UEFA - Greece
From Europe/UEFA - Italy
From Europe/UEFA - Netherlands
From Europe/UEFA - Portugal
From Europe/UEFA - Serbia
From Europe/UEFA - Slovakia
From Europe/UEFA - Slovenia
From Europe/UEFA - Spain
From Europe/UEFA - Switzerland
From South America - Argentina
From South America - Brazil
From South America - Chile
From South America - Uruuay
From South America - Paraguay
From Africa - Ghana
From Africa - Ivory Coast
From Concacaf - Honduras
From Concacaf - Mexico
From Concacaf - United States
From Asia/AFC - Australia
From Asia/AFC - Japan
From Asia/AFC - South Korea
From Asia/AFC - North Korea From Oceania - New Zealand
EUROPEThe nine group winners qualified automatically. The best eight of the nine runners-up played a two-legged play-off to qualify.
As in previous years, Conmebol qualifying was on a single league basis of the ten nations. The top four qualified automatically with Uruguay playing off against Costa Rica.
After Bhutan and Guam withdrew, Kuwait and Indonesia were given a bye into the second round. In round one, there were 17 two-legged ties. From the qualifying 19 nations, the top 11 ranked teams automatically moved into round three. The eight lowest ranked nations played another two-legged play-off. This took a total of 15 teams into round three.
Australia, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Iran were joined in the third round by Uzbekistan, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, China, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Thailand, Kuwait and Indonesia from the first round games.
The four victorious second round nations were Turkmenistan, Syria, Thailand and Singapore.
The 20 nations were drawn into five groups of four teams playing on a round-robin basis. The top two teams in each group qualify for the fourth round.
In Round Four, the ten nations were drawn into two groups of five. The top two teams qualified for the World Cup.
The two teams which finished third play off and the winning nation then faces a further play-off against New Zealand for a place in South Africa.
The preliminary round was to feature the ten lowest-ranked nations but São Tomé & Príncipe and the Central African Republic both withdrew meaning Swaziland and Seychelles received a bye.
That meant there were three matches remaining, of which Somalia-Djibouti was played as a one-off match while Madagascar-Comoros and Sierra Leone-Guinea-Bissau were two legged.
Swaziland, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Djibouti qualified for the first group stage in which 48 nations were drawn into 12 groups of four. The 12 group winners and eight best runners-up will go through.
The second group round saw the 20 remaining nations drawn into five groups of four. The group winners qualified. The qualifers also doubled up for the 2010 African Nations Cup finals. The top three teams in the final group qualified for this.
CONCACAFQualifying was the same as for 2006. The first round saw 11 preliminary matches between the lowest ranked nations.
The rest of the nations joined qualifying in the second round when they were seeded again based on FIFA World Ranking. The winners of the 12 two-legged ties will move into round three.
The next round was done on a league basis, with three groups of four countries. The top two teams in each group advance. This phase was completed on November 19.
The final stage saw one, six-team group from which the top three will qualify. The fourth placed team earned a play-off against a nation from South America, with Uruguay playing off against Costa Rica.
The first stage of this region was completed in September 2007 as New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu made it through to the next stage.
Also part of the 2007 Pacific Games, ten nations were drawn into two groups of five. The top two went through to the semi-finals. Both finalists qualified for the next stage of World Cup qualiying along with the winner of the 3rd/4th place play-off.
Those three nations joined New Zealand in round two. This was also the 2008 OFC Nations Cup. The four countries play on a league basis with the group winner playing off for the right to take on the qualifying nation from Asia. The group stage was completed with New Zealand the winners.