The organizing committee sent invitations to the federations of Europe, America, Africa and Asia to fill the 16 available places. When they reached February 28, 1933, the registration deadline, a total of 32 countries had signed up. For this reason, a qualifying phase was established for the first time among all the selections. The different groups were established by geographic proximity to save costs.
All teams were required to participate in the qualifying phase, including the organizing country. Italy played a two-legged tie against Greece, although they had no problems to pass; After defeating the Hellenes 4-0 in Milan, both countries reached an agreement and the return was never held. In addition, 11 other European countries were classified: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Spain, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.
The four associations of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland -, at that time faced with FIFA, refused to participate in the World Cup and continued with their own championship, the British Home Championship.
The only representatives of South America were Argentina and Brazil, who did not dispute any match for the withdrawal of their rivals. The Argentines were on the verge of not traveling because they resigned in the first instance. His elimination rival, Chile, could have come directly but also did not want to participate. Having a vacancy, the Argentine Football Association (Amateurs and Professionals) rectified its decision. All in all, the professional clubs of the newly created Liga de Fútbol Argentina refused to give in to their professionals and the albiceleste traveled to Europe with a completely amateur team, but the most notable absence was that of Uruguay, current champion, in He protested because Italy had rejected his invitation to the 1930 World Cup. The Uruguayans are the only world champions who have not been able to defend their title.
In qualifying in Africa and Asia, Egypt won the classification after defeating a selection of Palestine consisting of nine British, six Jews and one Arab in a round-trip to the United States. and Mexico, was played in the Italian capital on May 24, 1934, just three days before the inauguration, and ended with a 4-2 American victory.