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Friday, September 16, 2011

Norway "manipulating" the ranking

It seems Norway chose to play against Lithuania (see Google Translation to English in case your Norwegian is a bit rusty) in June and not a more dangerous opponent in order to keep their first pot position.

The Danish media and football officials consider this to be a "manipulation".

However, Norway didn't always play against weak/medium opponents and they didn't always win.

Lost to Poland, Croatia, Ukraine (twice), South Africa
Won against Republic of Ireland, France, Montenegro, Slovakia, Switzerland, South Africa, Finland, Germany.

In a July ranking counting only friendlies (see the second table), Norway were 3rd in Europe, behind Spain and Netherlands.

And if anyone asks - I had nothing to do with this, although I think the Norwegians did what they had to do - it is not illegal.

About me:

Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. I have no problems with it either. Friendlies are there to be played and you can play whoever you wish. You can either you them to try new things, blood new players or simply to harvest points. The only time I have a problem with them is when they are used simply to try and sell tickets which is how they appear to do it in Wales.

    Good on them. The Danes are just miffed that they didn't think of it first.

    Back in 2008 Wales spanked them 3-0 at the Racecourse in Wrexham. It's quite remarkable how we ended up in the bottom pot and they ended in the top pot.

    Once again, well done Norway!

  2. Me too. It's a tiny part of their points total.

  3. If they did the opposite, playing a tougher opponent & losing, they would be called fools. Didn't England once play a friendly vs.Swiss or other & lose top seed to Greece which led to them not qualifying for euro?

  4. Well, I think the normal Danish reaction is; congratulations with your high spot on the FIFA-ranking. Enjoy that while we go off to the championships. Especially as Denmark has just beaten Norway again, which made their chances of qualifying for the EURO 12 very slim.

    Norway's last big tournament was the EURO 00, while Denmark was at the 00, 02, 04 and 10 tournaments and Sweden has been in many as well.

    It did of course help Norway into getting a quite easy WC qual group, but I predict that they will anyway finish at least behind Switzerland or Slovenia.

    But now that Denmark passes Norway on the FIFA-ranking, I think we could agree with the Norwegians, that the FIFA-ranking indeed is very good. ;)

  5. @Anonymous

    Actually England lost to Croatia in the EURO 2008 final qualifier (at home) and were 1 point behind Greece in the FIFA ranking - dropping to the second pot for the 2010 FWQ draw.

    That was 4 years ago when I first started computing the ranking. I'm getting old :)

  6. Wow, Keld is rather bitter.

  7. @Edgar Yes, Englad were seeded for the EURO2008 qual., when Croatia kicked them out, and Croatia were seeded for the WC2010 qual., when England kicked them out. :)