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Friday, August 10, 2012

Nehru Cup - Could AIFF have invited better teams?

The AIFF (All India Football Federation) have invited 4 teams for the 2012 Nehru Cup: Cameroon (rank 59), Syria (147), Maldives (161) and Nepal (162). India (ranked 168) would get 363.78 points for a win against Cameroon, 136.74 for Syria and 129 for winning against Maldives or Nepal.

From a FIFA ranking point of view, AIFF could have invited better teams.

Using a combination of Elo ratings and FIFA ranking, these are the teams I would have tried to invite for the Nehru Cup:

August FIFA rank - Team - Points India would have received for a win

110 Luxembourg 251.1
118 Dominican Republic 214.02
57 Sierra Leone 368.94
113 St. Kitts and Nevis 227.07
71 Central African Republic 332.82
100 Antigua and Barbuda 261
120 Bermuda 208.8
118 Chad 211.56
107 Mozambique 239.94
111 Equatorial Guinea 229.62

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. When Cameroon compete in the Nehru cup it will be the first time since the tournament was revived in 2007 that a team from outside the AFC have taken part. All the teams that you have recommended come from outside the AFC. What would have been the best teams that the AIFF could have invited exclusively from the AFC?

    1. I restricted the field to teams that would have brought India at least 200 points for a win + India would have at least 35% chance of winning against them on home ground (based on the Elo rating).

      There are no such team in AFC. Closest are Turkmenistan - 198.66 points and 35.46% chance.

      If we drop the 200 points criteria:

      Brunei Darussalam
      Sri Lanka
      Chinese Taipei

      Each would bring 129 points (more than the 106 points India have). India would get 129 points for winning against any team from AFC (or CAF) ranked 150th or lower.

      Taking into account distance too (but not political problems):

      Sri Lanka

    2. Thanks for the reply; so even the AFC teams that the AIFF invited were the wrong ones!

    3. They got Nepal - I have them in the second list (that also takes distance into account).

      Maybe they are just looking to give their new coach a chance to test players, build team chemistry etc.

  2. Cameroon will use their CHAN/Local-based team. FIFA is funny about which of these matches to include for African teams. They don't include any of the CHAN finals or qualifying games (because they are restrictive national teams), but they have included several friendly matches played by national associations fielding their local-based teams (especially noticeable for the likes of Cameroon and Nigeria who have many foreign-based players). They have even included matches where the association has specifically mentioned they will not be using their A-team (Morocco's recent participation in the Arab Cup being a case in point - their own FA's website listed news about this tournament under the local-based national team section, not the full national team).

  3. If you dont mind, can will you give the points Nepal will get for win & draw in each match? thanx..

    1. Same points as India.

      363.78 points for a win against Cameroon, 136.74 for Syria and 129 for winning against Maldives or India.

      Just divide by 3 for draws:

      121.26 Cameroon, 45.58 Syria, 43 for Maldives or India.

  4. India invited Nigeria, Kenya, Costa rica, jordan, thailand and philipines. Jordan wanted to send their stupid u-19 team and kenya backed out at the last moment.

    1. Thanks for the info.

      I wrote this post from a FIFA ranking point of view. For publicity I'm sure Nigeria, Costa Rica and Jordan would have been better.

  5. True, but the association members of Aiff doesnt understand what higher ranked teams should they invite whom india can beat and climb above the rankings. This time they are celebrating the platinum jubilee year of Aiff ie. 75 years of Aiff and so wanted to rope in big names. The teams u have listed are a very well selected list of teams and india would have won 4 out of 5 matches if they have come. After all india is a team who deserves to be within 130 regularly but they are 168 due to various reasons.

  6. To anonymous august 16,2012 12:05pm
    It is not polite to mention "stupid"word for our fantastic jordan team,specially if you know that jordan u21 is better than India "A"team.our A jordan team is in last round of worlx cup quLifications,if you don't know.

  7. AIff could have did some more work anyways they palnned well by calling Kenya and cameroon. But kenya backed just 3 weeks before tournament thats the reason they invited Nepal.
    India at 168 is bit heartening, hope they use friendly dates appropriately.