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Friday, November 2, 2012

FIFA Ranking: Rules for friendly matches

On 25 October 2012, FIFA sent a circular letter (#1324 - FIFA-Coca-Cola Ranking) to all its members.

Following an analysis of the legal framework, as well as the implementation of the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches, FIFA would like to clarify the criteria for a match to be included in the list of matches used to calculate the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

International friendlies will only be included on the list used to calculate the ranking if they have been provisionally authorised in accordance with the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches, which came into force on 1 August 2011. Please refer to circular no. 1273 of 29 July 2011.

Main criteria for an international friendly to be included in the list used for the calculation of the ranking:

• Observance of the Laws of the Game as issued by IFAB and published by FIFA.
• In accordance with the FIFA Statutes, the main referee and both assistants must be listed on the current FIFA list of international referees.
• It is not compulsory that the fourth official be included on the FIFA list of international referees but if a non-FIFA listed fourth official is required to replace the referee or assistant during an international "A" match, this match will not be included on FIFA's list of matches for the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
• The referee and assistant referees shall be from a neutral country unless otherwise previously agreed by the members concerned.
• Only six substitutions per team can be made during the match.

Matches can be retrospectively removed from the list of matches used to calculate the FIFA-Coca-Cola World Ranking if the Laws of the Game have not been observed.

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 still think that they should officially allow more than 6 substitutions for such games, if both teams agree to this beforehand and the referee has been informed beforehand as well.

    1. SUCH games should REALLY not be calculated for the rankings. It's bad enough as it is - I don't think friendlies should count at all.

  2. As I said before, all Countries have to do to inflate their rankings is make 7 substitutions...