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Friday, March 25, 2011

FIFA Ranking: Why the need for confederation weightings?

The answer is very simple: Africa. With the Africa Cup of Nations scheduled every two years, Africa would have had a team in the top 10 almost every time.

Computing the ranking without the confederations rankings would have seen Cameroon on top in July and August 2003. Between August 1997 and March 2011 there have been 159 FIFA ranking releases. In 152 of them there would have been at least one African team in the top 10.

Teams that would have made it in the top 10:

Team - Highest ranking


Cameroon 1
Nigeria 2
Egypt 3
Togo 3
Côte d'Ivoire 5
Morocco 5
Senegal 5
South Africa 5
Tunisia 5
Angola 6
Ghana 6
Congo DR 8

Looking strictly at the March 2011 ranking (see at the end of the post), here are the main differences:

Top 10 differences for countries with a better FIFA Ranking:

Team - Ranking without weightings - FIFA Ranking - Difference


Scotland 71 50 21
Bulgaria 67 47 20
Hungary 54 36 18
Bosnia-Herzegovina 74 56 18
Moldova 105 87 18
Israel 75 58 17
Latvia 92 75 17
Northern Ireland 56 40 16
Belgium 78 62 16
Estonia 98 82 16

Top 10 differences for countries with a better Ranking without weightings:

Team - Ranking without weightings - FIFA Ranking - Difference


Libya 52 71 -19
Botswana 49 67 -18
Gabon 43 60 -17
Morocco 50 66 -16
Cape Verde Islands 57 73 -16
Uzbekistan 62 77 -15
Senegal 55 69 -14
Saudi Arabia 65 79 -14
Benin 66 80 -14
Algeria 43 55 -12

Top 50 nations only (in the top 50 in at least one of the rankings)

Top 10 differences for countries with a better FIFA Ranking:

Team - Ranking without weightings - FIFA Ranking - Difference


Scotland 71 50 21
Bulgaria 67 47 20
Hungary 54 36 18
Northern Ireland 56 40 16
Republic of Ireland 45 34 11
Belarus 48 37 11
Ecuador 60 49 11
Colombia 61 50 11
Norway 21 11 10
Italy 19 11 8

Top 10 differences for countries with a better Ranking without weightings:

Team - Ranking without weightings - FIFA Ranking - Difference


Botswana 49 67 -18
Gabon 43 60 -17
Morocco 50 66 -16
Algeria 43 55 -12
Côte d'Ivoire 14 25 -11
Mexico 17 27 -10
Egypt 25 35 -10
Guinea 34 44 -10
Tunisia 35 45 -10
USA 10 19 -9

This is the March 2011 ranking without confederation weightings:

Rank - Team - Points


1 Spain 1860
2 Netherlands 1704
3 Argentina 1492
4 Brazil 1487
5 Germany 1455
6 Uruguay 1263
7 England 1190
8 Ghana 1106
8 Japan 1106
10 USA 1066
11 Portugal 1033
12 Australia 1028
13 Greece 997
14 Côte d'Ivoire 994
15 Croatia 987
16 Chile 980
17 Mexico 935
18 Slovenia 916
19 Italy 900
20 Russia 896
21 Norway 894
22 Korea Republic 889
23 France 867
24 Paraguay 860
25 Egypt 856
26 Slovakia 842
27 Serbia 836
28 Switzerland 799
29 Denmark 776
30 Nigeria 755
31 Burkina Faso 754
32 Montenegro 753
33 Honduras 736
34 Guinea 711
35 Tunisia 710
36 Sweden 706
37 Czech Republic 703
38 Cameroon 698
39 Iran 688
40 Turkey 682
41 Ukraine 672
42 Jamaica 661
43 Gabon 659
43 Algeria 659
45 Republic of Ireland 655
46 South Africa 651
47 Costa Rica 642
48 Belarus 607
49 Botswana 605
50 Morocco 599
51 New Zealand 598
52 Libya 595
53 Cuba 592
54 Hungary 588
55 Senegal 582
56 Northern Ireland 571
57 Cape Verde Islands 567
57 Panama 567
59 Peru 564
60 Ecuador 562
61 Colombia 559
62 Uzbekistan 529
63 Romania 518
64 Venezuela 517
65 Saudi Arabia 510
66 Benin 509
67 Bulgaria 507
68 Lithuania 506
69 China PR 504
70 Jordan 501
71 Scotland 500
72 Austria 491
73 Mali 486
74 Bosnia-Herzegovina 483
75 Israel 479
75 Uganda 479
77 Malawi 476
78 Belgium 472
79 Armenia 471
80 Canada 465
81 Iraq 459
82 Poland 457
83 Mozambique 455
84 Qatar 453
85 El Salvador 446
86 Georgia 444
87 Albania 424
88 Bahrain 421
89 Grenada 420
90 Zambia 415
91 Trinidad and Tobago 414
92 Latvia 409
93 Finland 392
94 Togo 390
95 FYR Macedonia 386
96 Haiti 383
97 Kuwait 378
98 Estonia 375
99 Gambia 371
100 Sudan 369
101 Angola 368
102 Antigua and Barbuda 363
103 Syria 362
103 Niger 362
105 Moldova 352
106 Cyprus 348
107 Oman 338
108 Bolivia 337
109 Central African Republic 332
110 Guyana 326
111 Korea DPR 313
111 United Arab Emirates 313
113 Azerbaijan 312
114 Congo 298
115 Thailand 295
116 Congo DR 294
117 Suriname 293
117 Tanzania 293
119 Ethiopia 288
120 Sierra Leone 286
121 St. Kitts and Nevis 279
122 Yemen 267
123 Zimbabwe 264
124 Guatemala 262
125 Kenya 257
126 Iceland 246
127 Indonesia 243
128 Luxembourg 236
129 Wales 229
130 Rwanda 221
131 Dominica 220
132 Puerto Rico 215
133 Vietnam 209
134 Guinea-Bissau 203
135 Barbados 192
136 Malaysia 175
137 Kazakhstan 174
137 Namibia 174
139 Singapore 171
140 Chad 167
140 Burundi 167
142 Hong Kong 163
143 Faroe Islands 154
144 India 150
145 Equatorial Guinea 138
146 Chinese Taipei 134
147 Curacao 133
147 Tajikistan 133
149 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 129
150 Philippines 126
151 Fiji 125
152 Liechtenstein 122
153 New Caledonia 115
154 Turkmenistan 114
155 Cambodia 110
156 Madagascar 109
157 Swaziland 107
158 Liberia 105
159 Cayman Islands 103
160 Maldives 96
160 Myanmar 96
162 Vanuatu 90
162 Bermuda 90
164 Nicaragua 89
165 Malta 83
166 Lesotho 78
167 Belize 77
168 Dominican Republic 75
169 Lebanon 70
170 Laos 68
171 Pakistan 66
172 Nepal 64
173 Mauritania 61
173 Sri Lanka 61
175 Kyrgyzstan 59
176 Bangladesh 58
177 Eritrea 48
177 British Virgin Islands 48
179 Solomon Islands 47
179 Palestine 47
181 Macau 46
182 St. Lucia 43
183 Mongolia 38
184 Tahiti 37
185 Samoa 30
186 Somalia 29
187 Comoros 23
188 Mauritius 20
188 Cook Islands 20
188 Guam 20
188 Tonga 20
192 Djibouti 18
193 Bahamas 15
193 Turks and Caicos Islands 15
195 Afghanistan 12
196 Seychelles 11
196 Bhutan 11
196 Brunei Darussalam 11
199 Aruba 8
200 US Virgin Islands 6
201 Timor-Leste 3
202 American Samoa 0
202 Andorra 0
202 Anguilla 0
202 Montserrat 0
202 Papua New Guinea 0
202 San Marino 0

9 comments:

  1. perhaps to even it out, FIFA should select only every second CONCACAF and CAF championships that carry the higher weighting, with the alternate ones carrying the same weighting as a friendly. I had worked out that for australia, a weighting difference of 0.01 extra (i.e. 0.86 vs. 0.85) would benefit australia (and other AFC teams playing similar matches) by around 9 points per year

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  2. Why only African? CONCACAF also have their continental championship once every two years.

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  3. It seems to me that the FIFA rankings without the confederation weightings are more accurate than with the weightings. I don't see why having an African team in the top 10 would be seen as a misrepresentation of their standing in world football.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So if CAF & any other confederation playing two continental tournaments every 4 years, stopped that and only played one, then they should stop the weighting.

    Looking at that top 9 nations: with the exception of Paraguay's exclusion & England's inclusion, that's the top 9 countries at the 2010 FWC. AFC countries shouldn't go down in rankings just cause of this crap bs weightings.

    Notice all the teams that would be most greatly disadvantaged were the European teams.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why only Africa? Well, because Mexico were only 3rd, with the US not going higher than 4th.

    Cameroon 1st in the FIFA ranking? That would be a misrepresentation of their standing in world football.

    Also in the top 50, Ecuador and Colombia would be disadvantaged. That's to be expected since UEFA and CONMEBOL have the highest confederation weightings.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The ELO ranking works quite well without a confederation weighting. Also FIFA ranking basically says that e.g. a 30th placed Honduras aren't as strong as a 30th placed Norway.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think they actually say a team wouldn't try as hard against a 30th placed Honduras just because they're from CONCACAF - I find this ridiculous.

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  8. Maybe they should just give half the points for the Gold Cup and African Cup of Nations.

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  9. Very late into this discussion, I know, but the Confederation coefficient is unfair. Why should Mexico get fewer points for beating Germany at the World Cup than England would for achieving the same result? Ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete