A total of 74 teams entered the 1966 FIFA World Cupqualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament. , as the hosts, and , as the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 14 spots open for competition.
The 16 spots available in the 1966 World Cup would be distributed among the continental zones as follows:
Europe (UEFA): 10 places, 1 of them went to automatic qualifier , while the other 9 places were contested by 32 teams (including and ).
South America (CONMEBOL): 4 places, 1 of them went to automatic qualifier , while the other 3 places were contested by 9 teams.
North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 1 place, contested by 10 teams.
Africa and Asia (CAF/AFC): 1 place, contested by 18 teams (including from Oceania).
A total of 51 teams played at least one qualifying match. A total of 127 qualifying matches were played, and 393 goals were scored (an average of 3.09 per match).
Listed below are the dates and results of the qualification rounds.
To see the dates and results of the qualification rounds for each continental zone, click on the following articles: