First of all, the English FA doesn't use the average FIFA ranking, but the ranking of the averages :)
"The player’s National Association must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA World Rankings when averaged over the two years preceding the date of the application."
The FA does indeed publish these rankings, although they are a month behind schedule.
Second, the two years are in months, not in days as I assumed.
See for instance the July 2010 - June 2012 ranking.
I said Zambian players will be eligible for a work permit in August and I was surprised to see this June 2012 ranking has Zambia 70th, thus already eligible. Behind them in the FA ranking, are Albania (71st) and Lithuania (72nd). Estonia are 68th. While it makes no difference for Lithuania and Estonia (EU member), it does impact Albania (non-EU country).
I ran a query in my database and Zambia should be 72nd in this ranking, Lithuania 67th, Estonia 71st and Albania 69th.
FIFA's compare teams tools proof. As you can see Albania's average ranking is better than Zambia's.
If an English club would like to buy an Albanian player, the FA would not grant him a work permit, because of this mistake in their ranking.
This is the list of Albanian players that would qualify for a work permit:
Name (Position) - Current Club - Maket value in millions of Euro according to TransferMarkt - Age
|Kristi Vangjeli (D)||Chornomorets Odessa (UKR)||1||26|
|Andi Lila (M)||PAS Giannina (GRE)||0.75||26|
|Gjergj Muzaka (M)||Skenderbeu Korce (ALB)||0.425||27|
|Lorik Cana (M)||Lazio (ITA)||5||28|
|Hamdi Salihi (F)||DC United (USA)||1.1||28|
|Armend Dallku (D)||Vorskla Poltava (UKR)||2||29|
|Ansi Agolli (D)||FK Qarabag Agdam (AZE)||0.35||29|
|Klodian Duro (M)||KF Tirana (ALB)||0.125||34|
|Erjon Bogdani (F)||Siena (ITA)||0.4||35|
Lorik Cana is the only Albanian player with EPL experience - he featured in 31 games for Sunderland in 2009/2010 season.
I did inform the English FA about it and they said they will look at the figures as soon as they have the time - now being very busy with player registrations. Yes, they actually answered :)
The FA also forgot to include Sao Tome e Principe in the ranking of averages.
This Zambia-Albania issue is the only difference affecting the work permit rule. There are more differences not affecting this rule (i.e. work permit status would be the same). Top 25 differences:
Team - Correct rank - FA rank - Difference (absolute value)
|Sao Tome e Principe||208||153||55|
|Central African Republic||118||126||8|
Zambian players will be eligible after the August 2012 ranking is published by FIFA.