Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Brian McBride for the United States of America (vs Portugal), 5 June 2002

Terrible news. In the wake of the defeat by Northern Ireland, England have dropped 4 places and out of the top 10 in the FIFA world rankings, sitting shamefaced at 11. Northern Ireland in the meantime have moved up 15 places to 101st, Scotland are up 12 to 74th, and Wales move up a place to 82nd.

Here's the top 20 in full:

1. Brazil
2. Netherlands
3. Argentina
4. Czech Republic
5. Mexico
6. France
7. USA
8. Spain
9. Portugal
10. Sweden
11. England
12. Turkey
13. Italy
14. Denmark
15. Germany
16. Japan
17. Poland
18. Iran
19. Costa Rica
20. Greece
21. Republic of Ireland

Interesting. But how does it work?

Over to FIFA:

"Since its introduction, the FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking has proved to be a reliable measure for comparing national A-teams..."

If you say so...

"Taken into consideration for the ranking are all international-A match results over a time span of the last eight years:

  • World Cup finals matches
  • World Cup preliminary matches
  • FIFA Confederations Cup matches
  • Continental championship final matches
  • Continental championship preliminary matches
  • Friendly matches"
Ok - I'm with you so far, but it can't be that simple, can it?

ah, no.....

"The ranking list is produced by a computer program which assigns a team points for every match, according to clearly defined criteria. The factors taken into consideration are:

  1. Winning, drawing and losing
  2. Number of goals
  3. Home or away match
  4. Importance of the match (multiplication factor)
  5. Regional strength (multiplication factor)

For each team only the seven best results per year are given full weighting. Results from the past are given progressively less weighting year by year until after eight years they are dropped completely. In this way current success is rated more highly than past results."

Ah... those tricky multiplication factors. I imagine Costa Rica must play a lot of important games then, yeah?

"The factors used are:

  • Friendly match x 1.00
  • Continental championship preliminary x 1.50
  • World Cup preliminary match x 1.50
  • Continental championship finals match x 1.75
  • FIFA Confederations Cup match x 1.75
  • World Cup finals match x 2.00

This means that qualifying matches are weighted 50% higher than friendlies, continental final round matches 75 % higher and matches during World Cup finals twice as much."

Right. Anything else we need to know?

"For 2005, the following weighting factors will apply:

  • UEFA x 1.00
  • CONMEBOL x 0.99
  • CAF x 0.96
  • CONCACAF x 0.94
  • AFC x 0.93
  • OFC x 0.93"
(I've summarised a bit, but you get the general idea)

And the result of all that effort?? A table that is essentially a load of old cobblers.

I bet the average fan could write out a list of who they thought would make the last 8 of the World Cup, and it would be more accurate.

Good old FIFA, though eh?


Anonymous said...

It's the fact that according to FIFA, the Oceanic teams are 93% of the benchmark of the UEFA teams.

The Solomon Islands must be delighted.

Eight teams to get to the last 8 of the World Cup?

Czech Republic

Mexico? my arse.

weenie said...

USA at number 7?

We *are* talking football=soccer, not the American variety???

Charby said...

That whole post has totally confuzled me.

swisslet said...

it's clear as a bell to me... which bit didn't you get?