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Friday, September 30, 2011

FIFA admit mistake, update ranking

I wrote last week about the problems I found in the September edition of the FIFA rankings.

I also e-mailed FIFA about it and even tweeted to @fifamedia about it.

They've replied on Monday:

Thank you for your email and notification of a possible error in the World Ranking. We have reviewed the calculation and confirmed that there was a mistake. We will therefore issue a new ranking this week on including the matches played on 19th and 20th  August and also the two forfeit wins of Tadjikistan against Syria. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Kind regards


Communications & Public Affairs Division
FIFA – Fédération Internationale de Football Association   
52 teams were affected. These are the changes (compared to the first September ranking):


33 - Tajikistan
7 - Lesotho
2 - Bahrain, Cuba and Iraq
1 - Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Antigua and Barbuda, Oman, Iceland, Guatemala, Comoros, Kyrgyzstan and Solomon Islands


-8 - Syria
-4 - Dominican Republic
-3 - Qatar
-1 - Gambia, Faroe Islands, Tanzania, Liberia, Congo DR, Vietnam, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Belize, Nepal, Burundi, Turkmenistan, Rwanda, Congo, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, Fiji, Malaysia, Dominica, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Equatorial Guinea, Malta, New Caledonia, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Chad, Palestine, Guinea-Bissau, India, Mongolia, Maldives and Philippines

Point differences:

133 - Tajikistan
9 - Lesotho
4 - Iraq
1 - Swaziland
-4 - Curaçao
-6 - Sudan
-7 - Dominican Republic
-10 - Qatar
-45 - Syria

That's why I posted a new preview and probable ranking for October.


  1. Hey Edgar,

    Well done! This must be satisfying work !

    Although, in my humble opinion, the Tajikistan-correction is not the right way to deal with awarded games and the matchpoints assigned with it.
    This distorts Tajikistan's true strength considerably. I would go for a points assignment based on the original result or, if that's achieved in a really fraudulent way, at least annul the whole match.
    But hey, who am I ?

  2. @Ed

    Thanks! This is not work - it's a hobby :)

    I agree - I would have kept the result.

  3. also FIFA guys don't know that Tajikistan is written without "D"

  4. now features an "interactive" ranking.

    You can see the points from the most recent matches, the matches which don't count anymore and you can calculate the ranking for the next month.

  5. The interactive ranking is perfect. Exactly what I requested before.

  6. Yes, credit where credit is due: The new features are excellent. Hopefully this will be a big step to help the public better understand how the ranking works, and that the numbers are accountable and computable, not arbitrary.

  7. Finally - they promised such a tool 5 years ago - in July 2006.

    This also means my blog will sort of lose its purpose :)

  8. Not the blog - just some of the FIFA Ranking updates...
    You still have great posts, including simutations and other stuff.

  9. I would have liked to also see full points breakdown, but that will do...