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Friday, July 27, 2012

Mistake in the English FA work permit FIFA ranking averages

Last week I wrote about the UK work permit and a comment (I did say I have some very knowledgeable readers) made me realize a mistake I've made in my research - and this helped me find a mistake in the ranking produced by the English FA.

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
Belize 152 158 6
Lithuania 72 67 5
Haiti 93 98 5
Nicaragua 158 163 5
Aruba 181 186 5
Burkina Faso 54 50 4
Uganda 82 78 4
Sierra Leone 92 96 4
India 156 152 4
Bahamas 172 176 4
Tahiti 180 184 4
Serbia 26 23 3
Sweden 23 26 3
Ecuador 48 51 3
Bulgaria 64 61 3
Morocco 67 70 3
Estonia 68 71 3
Wales 78 81 3
FYR Macedonia 91 88 3
Moldova 112 109 3
Indonesia 139 136 3
Liberia 134 137 3
Bermuda 144 147 3

Zambian players will be eligible after the August 2012 ranking is published by FIFA.

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 looked at that knowledgable readers link.

    Why do you want to work in LA specifically? Why not spread the net out further?

    1. Because in about 16 months me and my family will be moving to LA - God willing.

      Just planning ahead - I'd like to have a job when I land in the States.

    2. Good luck with that. Say hi to David Beckham for me :)

    3. I'm not into all that celebrity hype. If I do meet him - I will surely mention you :)