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Friday, January 27, 2012

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding: (Almost) official AFC 4th round

Update: 3 February 2012

See the updated seeding list.


Update: 30 January 2012

On the morning of 27 January, the release date for the March 2012 ranking was 14 March. Later that day, FIFA brought the date forward by one week, thus the ranking will be published on 7 March, two days before the draw and what is written below is no longer true (i.e. the games on 29 February will now affect the seeding).

I did write on Friday to FIFA, AFC and all the involved FAs, but I can't claim the change of release date is because of me.

Original article follows:

The AFC have announced yesterday the draw for the fourth round will take place on March 9.

Last August, AFC's Competition Committee decided to use the latest FIFA rankings to seed the teams for the fourth round draw.

Looking at the FIFA ranking schedule, this means the February ranking will be used, thus the 29 February games (last match day of the third round will not affect the seeding).

It would be better (in my very humble opinion) to postpone the draw for March 16 (two days after the released of the March ranking).

Already qualified: Jordan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Japan, Australia and Iran.

Only one match left before the February ranking is released: a friendly involving the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, on January 29th. However, Uzbekistan are safe between Iran and Iraq (that's a difficult place to be in, isn't it?).

Here's the table, with Uzbekistan's friendly counted as a defeat. With a win, Uzbekistan would have 469 points, not enough to overtake Iran.

1 Australia 832
2 Japan 762
3 Korea Republic 714
4 Iran 606
5 Uzbekistan 455
6 Iraq 439
7 Jordan 431
8 Saudi Arabia 407
9 Kuwait 399
10 Oman 377
11 Qatar 372
12 Bahrain 366
13 Lebanon 299
14 Thailand 235

4 years ago, the 4 lowest seeded teams of the 10 qualified for the 4th round were placed in a single pot.

Pot 1: Australia, Japan
Pot 2: Korea Republic, Iran
Pot 3: Uzbekistan, Iraq
Pot 4: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar.

If Korea Republic don't qualify, Uzbekistan will climb to Pot 2, while Jordan will climb to Pot 3.

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. Jordan could get a friendly before Feb 9 and get better seeding if they win ?

  2. But I don't think they are aware of it.

  3. Don't think they do Jonny. I'm really not as popular as you think :)

  4. Brainless fools. Why does no one have a brain when it comes to these things?

  5. @Edgar FIFA currently changed the publish date of March Ranking, from 14, to 7th of march...Is this mean that draw will consider final match in round 3, which is 29th of feb? Please confirm so I will inform Jordan Federation about friendly match, if your answer is "no"?. Tarek/Jordan

  6. Yes Anonymous, that means the whole calculation changes to use the March rankings.

  7. @Edgar: Is it confirmed now that AFC Draw in 9th of March will consider last round in29th of feb?What is the possibilities which let Jordan repalce Iraq to Pot3? IRQ next matches: against Korea 30-Jan (Friendly), against Singapore 29-Feb(WCQ). I appreciate answer asap.Tarek/Jordan

  8. Apologies on the "brainless fools" comment, AFC :)

  9. @ Lorric: It is o.k my Jordan, we were thinking to play Friendly to replace Iraq in POT 3 of WCQ AFC,but can't work in case Rank published on7th March. We need to win over 47th nation or higher in order to overcome Iraq Pts. I really need Edgar help now to reply my previous Comments.Tarek/Jordan

  10. Hi Tarek,

    Currently there are three games in the FIFA fixturelist that could have any influence on the Jordan/Iraq seeding-issue (if the march-ranking is used for the seeding and that surely looks like it):
    the friendly Iran-Jordan (23/2) and the last AFC-round 3 WC-qualifiers (29/2) China-Jordan and Iraq-Singapore.

    First Iraq:
    Win SIN: 443 pts
    Draw SIN: 430 pts
    Loss SIN 423 pts.

    Jordan can reach the following points-totals in the march-ranking, depending on the results of both their games:
    Win IRN and win CHN: 479 pts
    Win IRN and draw CHN: 449 pts
    Win IRN and loss CHN: 435 pts

    Draw IRN and win CHN: 464 pts
    Draw IRN and draw CHN: 435 pts
    Draw IRN and loss CHN: 420 pts

    Loss IRN and win CHN: 457 pts
    Loss IRN and draw CHN: 427 pts
    Loss IRN and loss CHN: 412 pts

    Btw, these points are calculated with the current ranking-positions of the teams involved as their february-ranking positions. There could be some minor changes depending on the outcome of the African Cup of Nations.

    You can see that a win against China should be enough for Jordan to overtake Iraq.

  11. And to be complete:
    Uzbekistan is also in range of Jordan, regarding the march-ranking. They have a rather 'heavy' schedule: a friendly against Korea Republic (25/2) and a qualifier against Japan (29/2), both away-matches. Could easily be 2 losses.

    Their points-totals
    win KOR and win JPN: 533 pts
    win KOR and draw JPN: 480 pts
    win KOR and loss JPN: 454 pts

    draw KOR and win JPN: 512 pts
    draw KOR and draw JPN: 460 pts
    draw KOR and loss JPN: 434 pts

    loss KOR and win JPN: 502 pts
    loss KOR and draw JPN: 450 pts
    loss KOR and loss JPN: 424 pts

  12. @ED This is very helpful Edgar,thanks but I'm wondering: 1. For Iraq, If arrange friendly game before 29th, is there possibility to get more pts than mentioned 2. Do we have any threat from others lower than us:KSA,QAT,KUW,BAH, if they win 29th of Feb WCQ? Tarek

  13. Hi Tarek,

    you really wanna know everything, don't you! But that's OK, I'm glad I can help.

    1) If Iraq plans a friendly against Spain and win it (and they win against Singapore) than they can reach a total of 459 pts. So an extra friendly doesn't do much for Iraq.

    2) Saudi Arabia has scheduled a friendly against Malaysia (20/2) and the qualifier against Australia (29/2):

    win MAS, win AUS: 478 pts
    win MAS, draw AUS: 415 pts
    win MAS, loss AUS: 383 pts

    draw MAS, win AUS: 471 pts
    draw MAS, draw AUS: 408 pts
    draw MAS, loss AUS: 376 pts

    loss MAS, win AUS: 467 pts
    loss MAS, draw AUS: 404 pts
    loss MAS, loss AUS: 372 pts

    As long as Saudi Arabia doesn't win against Australia, Jordan should keep KSA below them in the ranking.

    Kuwait has scheduled friendlies against Korea DPR and China and a qualifier against Korea Republic.
    If they win all they can reach a maximum of 432 pts; a draw against KOR and two friendly wins gives them 398 pts. I would say: not really a threat to Jordan.

    Qatar plays a friendly against Lebanon and a qualifier against Iran. If they win both they can reach a maximum of 435 pts. A draw against Iran (+ friendly win) leaves them with 390 pts. Same conclusion.

    Bahrain only plays a qualifier against Indonesia: a win gives them 373 pts. No threat at all.

    So overall, if KSA, KUW or QAT win their qualifiers (against strong opposition) than Jordan could have a problem. Otherwise, Jordan can only look forward...

    Hopes this satifies your curiosity.

  14. @ED: Yes,really kind from you :-) I will wait your next update"Ranking Preview" for min/max pts, so will be more clear.Pot 4 in AFC WCQ will face big challenge to play 3 matches within 9 days in home & away matches. Till now I didn't find official statment from AFC/FIFA about considering 29th Matches in 7th March Fifa. If you have web link, please mention.Tarek

  15. @ED This is really good edgar :-) I'm wondering if AFC announced officially that they will consider 7th March Ranking.Please mention weblink. Regards/Tarek

  16. @ Tarek

    I haven't found an official confirmation either, nor at nor at

    Btw, you seem to think that I am Edgar, but I'm not. I am just another reader of this blog, whose name happens to begin with 'Ed'.

  17. Dear Edgar
    I want to tell you that the friendly match btween Lebanon and Iraq 1-0 will not be included because the refrees where from Lebanon so please i want to know the total points of Iraq in this case

  18. Hello Ed,
    could you please give the detailed points (meaning the sinlge match points) for your calculation of different results (win, loss, draw) for Iraq against Singapore?
    Thanks in advance!

  19. @ ED: Really I thought you are Edgar..finally, we are all brothers :-)
    @Anonymous IRQ: as I know that even the referees was from local country,it will be included in Rank(as happenned before with different country). Please other advise.
    As ED mentioned:
    Win SIN: 443 pts
    Draw SIN: 430 pts
    Loss SIN 423 pts.

  20. Im sure there will be more Asian friendlies before Feb 29 .

    @anonymous : A refeeree dont have to be from a neutral country to count as "A" match. As long as both teams in advance had agreed to use a local referee.

  21. It is not sure that the seedings will be done the same way as 4 years ago ?

  22. @ Tarek
    You're quite right!

    @ Anonymous (1 feb 10:50 AM)
    The match Lebanon-Iraq is at the moment included in the FIFA-matchlist and as long as it's there it will count for the ranking.

    @ Anonymous (1 feb 6:43 PM)
    Detailed points calculation IRQ for march 2012 ranking in case IRQ wins against SIN on 29th feb:
    cycle date opponent pts
    4 21-3-2008 KUW 67.150
    4 26-3-2008 QAT 0.000
    4 17-5-2008 SYR 0.000
    4 25-5-2008 THA 0.000
    4 1-6-2008 AUS 0.000
    4 7-6-2008 AUS 1051.875
    4 14-6-2008 CHN 771.375
    4 22-6-2008 QAT 0.000
    4 27-12-2008 UAE 76.500
    4 4-1-2009 BHR 0.000
    4 7-1-2009 OMA 0.000
    4 10-1-2009 KUW 62.050
    3 22-3-2009 KSA 123.250
    3 28-3-2009 KOR 0.000
    3 9-6-2009 POL 148.925
    3 14-6-2009 RSA 326.400
    3 17-6-2009 ESP 0.000
    3 20-6-2009 NZL 300.900
    3 10-7-2009 PLE 127.500
    3 13-7-2009 PLE 127.500
    3 15-11-2009 AZE 208.125
    3 18-11-2009 UAE 216.750
    2 16-9-2010 JOR 0.000
    2 21-9-2010 OMA 281.220
    2 25-9-2010 YEM 239.940
    2 29-9-2010 PLE 129.000
    2 1-10-2010 IRN 0.000
    2 12-10-2010 QAT 247.680
    2 11-11-2010 IND 144.480
    2 17-11-2010 KUW 81.700
    2 23-11-2010 UAE 82.560
    2 26-11-2010 BHR 291.540
    2 29-11-2010 OMA 88.580
    2 2-12-2010 KUW 81.700
    2 18-12-2010 SYR 0.000
    2 22-12-2010 SYR 239.940
    2 28-12-2010 KSA 309.600
    2 11-1-2011 IRN 0.000
    2 15-1-2011 UAE 758.520
    2 19-1-2011 PRK 704.340
    2 22-1-2011 AUS 0.000
    1 26-3-2011 PRK 224.460
    1 29-3-2011 KUW 0.000
    1 29-6-2011 SYR 0.000
    1 13-7-2011 KUW 0.000
    1 16-7-2011 JOR 100.620
    1 23-7-2011 YEM 445.050
    1 28-7-2011 YEM 139.750
    1 19-8-2011 QAT 288.960
    1 2-9-2011 JOR 0.000
    1 6-9-2011 SIN 457.950
    1 11-10-2011 CHN 819.150
    1 11-11-2011 CHN 838.500
    1 15-11-2011 JOR 767.550
    1 13-12-2011 BHR 0.000
    1 16-12-2011 QAT 90.300
    1 22-1-2012 LIB 0.000
    1 29-2-2012 SIN 335.400

    cycle pts MP MP_rank avg_pts weight w_avg
    1 4507.690 17 17 265.16 1 265.16
    2 3680.800 19 19 193.73 0.5 96.86
    3 1579.350 10 10 157.94 0.3 47.38
    4 2028.950 12 12 169.08 0.2 33.82
    IRQ 443.22

    The matchpoints in case of a draw against SIN: 111.8
    A loss means automatic 0 pts for Iraq.

    Please, do the math yourself now for those last two cases.

  23. @ED: In fact, you gave me all possibilities for KSA,QAT,KUW,BAH, But I forgot OMA which may threat us for POT 3. I really appreciate if you clarify. Tarek/Jor

  24. @ Edgar

    regarding your update on this article: I dare say that it would be a really big coincidence if the change of the release date had NOTHING to do with your involvement.
    Once again: great work (or was it a hobby ?).

  25. @ Tarek

    That's because it's either KSA or OMA that's gonna qualify for the 4th round. So you forgot it rightly :-)

  26. @ Tarek

    Sorry, I pressed the 'send' button too quickly. If Oman wins their friendly against India and their qualifier against Thailand then they have a maximum of 381 pts. So no threat.

  27. @ Ed

    Yes, it's a hobby. Edgar does this for free because he likes it.

  28. You have done a good job, bro. However I think there is mistake on Uzbekistan's points. It should be 477, not 455. Can you check it one more time?

  29. @Ed

    I think you overestimate me with regards to my influence and such. Thanks for the all work :)


    An update can be found here:

    2014 FIFA World Cup seeding: AFC 4th round (3 February 2012)