The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men’s football tournament, that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina.

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The national teams of 31 countries advanced through qualification competitions that began in June 2011 to participate with the host nation Brazil in the final tournament. A total of 64 matches are to be played in twelve cities across Brazil in either new or redeveloped stadiums, with the tournament beginning with a group stage. For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the matches will use goal-line technology.

Spain is the defending champion, having defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in the 2010 World Cup final to win its first World title. The previous four World Cups staged in South America were all won by South American teams.

Host selection

Sepp Blatter announcing Brazil as the hosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup 2014 FIFA World Cup bids On 7 March 2003, FIFA announced that the tournament would be held in South America for the first time since 1978, in line with its then-active policy of rotating the right to host the World Cup among different confederations. The decision meant that it would be the first time that two consecutive World Cups will be staged outside Europe.

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On 3 June 2003, the South American Football Confederation CONMEBOL initially announced that Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia wanted to host the finals. but, by March 2004, the CONMEBOL associations had unanimously voted to adopt Brazil as their sole candidate.

During the intervening months, Colombia decided that it would enter its own bid, and formally declared its candidacy in December 2006. A week earlier Brazil had also formally announced its interest. However, Colombia officially withdrew its bid in April 2007, leaving Brazil as the only host candidate. On 30 October 2007 FIFA officially confirmed that Brazil would host the event.

Qualification

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. The allocation of places for the final tournament was decided on 3 March 2011, with the distribution of the 31 places determined through the qualification process unchanged from that of the previous tournament. The qualification draw for the 2014 World Cup was held at the Marina da Glória in Rio de Janeiro on 30 July 2011. As the host nation, Brazil automatically qualified for the tournament.

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203 of the 208 FIFA national teams at the time participated in the qualification stages, which began on 15 June 2011 and concluded on 20 November 2013. 24 of the 32 eventual qualifiers were present at the previous tournament, with the only debutant being Bosnia and Herzegovina, which qualified for the first time as an independent nation.[16] The highest-ranked absentee according to FIFA World Rankings will be Ukraine, while the OFC region will have no representation at a World Cup Finals for the first time since 2002.

Referees

FIFA has published a list of 52 prospective referees, each paired with two assistant referees, from all six football confederations for the tournament. Its refereeing department will select the final list of officials from this list during 2014.

Goal-line technology

For the first time at a World Cup Finals, the officials will be assisted by goal-line technology. The previous World Cup was a catalyst for the decision to adopt technology after England were wrongly denied a goal in their Round of 16 tie against Germany.[50] Following the mistake in this game, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said “it would be a nonsense not to reopen the file on goal-line technology”[51] and in 2012 the IFAB approved its usage. This is the fourth FIFA competition to use the technology after successful trials at 2012 Club World Cup, 2013 Club World Cup and 2013 Confederations Cup. The German company Goal Control was selected as the tournament’s official goal-line technology provider in October 2013.

Vanishing spray

Following successful trials at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, FIFA approved the vanishing spray to be used by the referees for the first time at a World Cup Finals. The water-based spray, which disappears in a minute after use would be used to mark the ten-yard line for the defending team during a free kick and also drawn where the ball is to be placed for a free-kick.

Squads

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As with the 2010 tournament, each team’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will consist of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers). Each participating national association has to confirm their final 23-player squad no later than 10 days before the start of the tournament. Teams are permitted to make late replacements in the event of serious injury, at any time up to 24 hours before their first game.

Discipline and suspensions

The following players, if included in the final squad of their respective national teams, will be suspended for their team’s first match of the tournament for infringements in their final qualification matches. Subject to FIFA disciplinary judgements, suspensions may be extended to more than one match.
Should either player be omitted from their national squad, the suspension will still be considered ‘served’ at the tournament.
Fredy Guarín: sent off vs. Paraguay, serious foul play (double yellow card), 15 October 2013
Mario Mandžukić: sent off vs. Iceland, serious foul play, 19 November 2013
Josip Šimunić: suspended for 10 matches, for using an Ustaše slogan after the Iceland match. This includes playing or attending matches. Šimunić will therefore miss the entire World Cup Finals.

Matches

The match schedule was announced at FIFA’s headquarters in Zürich on 20 October 2011, with the kick-off times being confirmed on 27 September 2012.[59] After the final draw, the kick-off times of seven matches were adjusted by FIFA.

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All times listed below are in Brasília official time (UTC−3). This is the time zone of ten of the twelve venues; the other two, Cuiabá and Manaus, are in the Amazon time zone (UTC−4), therefore for matches hosted at these two venues the local kickoff times are one hour earlier than the times listed below.[61]

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