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Friday, June 28, 2013

Should FIFA upgrade regional tournaments?

FIFA have recognized CHAN matches as "A" matches, although the squad are made up exclusively of players active in the national leagues. Most of the top African teams have few local players. I consider this to be a mistake as it hurts the ranking of African teams, but that's what they asked for after all.

I think FIFA should upgrade the status of regional tournaments. Currently, these matches are considered friendlies (importance multiplier of 1), although they are played under strict rules (at most 3 substitutions) and usually fans place a lot of importance on these competitions.

On top of that, most of the teams involved in these tournaments don't have the opportunity to play a lot of qualifiers because the qualifying formats for the World Cup and continental championships are usually very tough and confederations usually need to restrict the number of teams in the group stages.

A list of the most important regional competitions:

East Asian Cup
Gulf Cup of Nations
ASEAN Football Championship
South Asian Football Championship
West Asian Football Championship

For instance, FIFA could use a importance multiplier of 2 (as Clifton suggested). This is something federations should lobby for at FIFA, so I encourage fans to contact their federations and urge them to contact FIFA regarding the status of regional tournaments. This is more important for Asian teams, because they have only one continental championship every 4 years, while CAF have 2 and more opportunities to improve their ranking.


  1. This is going to very beneficial for countries like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and Rep. Demo. Congo as the majority of their A-team squad play in national leagues.

    A factor of 2 seems very fair for such competitions as they more important than friendlies and obviously less than continental or world cup qualifiers. But is the coefficient 2 be given to both qualifiers and final tournaments or not?

    A condition for such tournaments to be counted is that they should be recognized by Fifa or by the continental body (CAF, AFC, UEFA, ...).

    I am not sure if tournaments like CECAFA cup or the Arab Cup of Nations are recognized by Fifa or CAF for instance.

    Another competition that is also worth to consider is Olympic tournaments and their qualifiers. The qualifiers are organized by the continental federations and thus can be also counted.

    1. 1.5 for the qualifiers then.

      Olympic matches are restricted to players of a certain age. I don't think it would be OK to consider them "A" matches.

  2. No. Leave them as friendlies. It would skew the rankings.

    Take Uganda for instance, they dominate their regional tournament. It would pump up their seeding at the expense of other nations.

  3. It is better to keep them friendlies,to keep fifa ranking reasonable.Specially that the real power of any team is with their non-local proffesional players whom can join A team just for continent&worldcup touranaments&qualifications.