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Friday, December 10, 2010

Confederation weightings: An in-depth look

I didn't have time lately to look into this matter, but I'm finally able to post something about this.

In March 2010 I received from FIFA's Media Office the procedure used to determine the confederation weightings. I used that procedure to compute the 2002 - 2006 and 2006 - 2010 weightings. I got the same results as FIFA. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup I tracked the confederations weightings but my results were quite different from the ones released by FIFA in August 2010. That month I wrote to FIFA, but I got no reply. I wrote to them against last week and they told me:

"Thanks for your message concerning the FIFA World Ranking. We will inform the respective department."

It's been a week - plenty of time for some kind of answer from the "respective department".

Today I'll post the detailed calculations and two weeks from now we'll see how the rankings would have looked with the confederation weightings computed using the procedure I received from FIFA. Hopefully, if I have the time, we'll also see how the post-July 2006 rankings would have looked like without the weightings.

There are 5 posts - one for each of the last 5 FIFA World Cup tournaments - detailing the number of interconfederational matches and wins for each of FIFA's 6 confederations.

1994 FIFA World Cup USA
1998 FIFA World Cup France
2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

2002 - 2006 confederation weightings

Same results as FIFA.

Confed W94 T94 WPG94 W98 T98 WPG98 W02 T02 WPG02 Av94-02 FVal
AFC 2 7 0.29 1 12 0.08 5 17 0.29 0.22 0.83
CAF 2 10 0.2 3 16 0.19 4 17 0.24 0.21 0.82
CONCACAF 2 8 0.25 2 10 0.2 4 10 0.4 0.28 0.88
CONMEBOL 8 17 0.47 8 21 0.38 10 20 0.5 0.45 0.99
OFC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0
UEFA 14 30 0.47 20 39 0.51 18 44 0.41 0.46 1

AFC, CAF and OFC got the minimal 0.85 value.

2006 - 2010 confederation weightings

Same results as FIFA.

Confed W98 T98 WPG98 W02 T02 WPG02 W06 T06 WPG06 Av98-06 FVal
AFC 1 12 0.08 5 17 0.29 1 12 0.08 0.15 0.73
CAF 3 16 0.19 4 17 0.24 3 16 0.19 0.21 0.79
CONCACAF 2 10 0.2 4 10 0.4 1 13 0.08 0.23 0.81
CONMEBOL 8 21 0.38 10 20 0.5 10 17 0.59 0.49 0.98
OFC 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.25 0.08 0.63
UEFA 20 39 0.51 18 44 0.41 22 34 0.65 0.52 1

4 confederations got the minimal 0.85 value.

2010 - 2014 confederation weightings

My results differ from the ones published by FIFA.

Confed W02 T02 WPG02 W06 T06 WPG06 W10 T10 WPG10 Av02-10 FVal
AFC 5 17 0.29 1 12 0.08 4 14 0.29 0.22 0.8
CAF 4 17 0.24 3 16 0.19 4 20 0.2 0.21 0.79
CONCACAF 4 10 0.4 1 13 0.08 2 11 0.18 0.22 0.8
CONMEBOL 10 20 0.5 10 17 0.59 12 24 0.5 0.53 1
OFC 0 0 0 1 4 0.25 0 3 0 0.08 0.63
UEFA 18 44 0.41 22 34 0.65 15 34 0.44 0.50 0.99

I have UEFA with 0.99 (FIFA - 1), CONCACAF with 0.85 (FIFA - 0.88) and CAF with 0.85 (FIFA - 0.86).

CONMEBOL, AFC and OFC lose out, while UEFA, CONCACAF and CAF are advantaged.

6 comments:

  1. In the comments to your post from last August, Dorian wondered about counting draws as fractions of a win. An anonymous poster responded with "a quick calculation" using the three common methods of counting draws, which appeared to show that none of these matched the official FIFA calculations.

    I'd never tried to check this myself until just now, but it looks like those numbers were a little off. Particularly, counting all draws as 1/2 of a win, I got the following numbers:

    CONMEBOL 1.0000
    UEFA 0.9985
    CONCACAF 0.8767
    CAF 0.8640
    AFC 0.8602
    OFC 0.8268

    This looks like a perfect match to FIFA's published numbers, except AFC is wrong (FIFA gives 0.85, not 0.86). It doesn't matter whether Australia is included in 2006; the value is 0.8602 either way.

    So is that the answer? I have no idea. If this does turn out to be the new formula, there are still two big questions:

    1) Why did AFC only get 0.85?

    2) Why change the formula now, without any warning, for no apparent reason? (other than helping certain confederations?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. If your numbers don't put UEFA at number one, change them! But I do think that Argentina defeat to Germany and Brazil's to Netherlands actually forced this.

    It was the two South American giants disappointing exits that forced the changes. How could UEFA not be #1 after finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the WC?

    Even being South American and a "Europhile-hater" (hehehe!), I understand FIFA on that one.

    We kind of deserved it...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your contribution Alex. You might be onto something, because this FIFA article no longer says wins, but results.

    Sancho - they should have announced they changed the formula.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Edgar,

    They probably didn't because: it's embarrasing to change it because you dislike the previous result; and/or they didn't want to call attention to this "little" detail; and/or, if true it would be sad, they don't think that's important, anyway.

    I just want to stress that if someone should be blamed fot this, it's Brazil. That second half debacle against the Netherlands is unexcusable...

    Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A new fifa.com article appears to confirm that the new "draw = 1/2 a win" calculation method conjectured in this comment thread is indeed correct.

    FIFA Ranking news (24 Aug 2011)

    "For this edition of the world ranking, the confederation weighting for the AFC has been increased from 0.85 to 0.86 backdated to August 2010, after a review of the confederation weighting calculation found that 0.86 is the correct figure. This alteration has led to only minimal changes for a few teams, and would have had no impact whatsoever on the seedings for the Preliminary Draw for Brazil 2014 on 30 July."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good catch Alex! A bit more on this later today - as promised.

    ReplyDelete