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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Points per confederation

I was asked to analyse the number of points that per confederation are gained or lost through the new FIFA ranking calculation. An interesting question Amir, thank you.

The new ranking calculation is applied since June 4th 2018, some thirteen months now. In that time one World Cup and continental championships for CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, AFC and CAF were played. Tournaments with a relatively high weight were the UEFA Nations League, the CONCACAF Nations League qualifying and part of EURO and CAF qualifying. Tournaments with a relatively lower weight were several regional championships or qualifications for those. And of course a lot of friendlies were played, outside and inside official FIFA match windows.



Number of matches per competition and I-factor

tournament  \      I-factor 5 10 15 25 35 40 50 60   total
FIFA World Cup 2018 0 0 0 0 0 0 56 8 64
AFC Nations Cup 2019 0 0 0 0 44 7 0 0 51
CAF Nations Cup 2019 0 0 0 0 44 4 0 0 48
CONC. Gold Cup 2019 0 0 0 0 21 7 0 0 28
Copa America 2019 0 0 0 0 18 8 0 0 26
CAF Nations Cup 2019 Q 0 0 0 116 0 0 0 0 116
FIFA World Cup 2022 Q 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 0 11
UEFA EURO 2020 Q 0 0 0 100 0 0 0 0 100
CONCACAF NL 2020 Q 0 0 47 0 0 0 0 0 47
UEFA NL 2019 0 0 138 4 0 0 0 0 142
CHAN 2020 Q 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
COSAFA Cup 2018 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
COSAFA Cup 2019 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
EAFF Cup 2019 Q 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
SAFF Cup 2018 3 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
ASEAN Cup 2018 16 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 26
ASEAN Cup 2018 Q 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Pacific Games 2019 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
Friendly 2018 84 144 0 0 0 0 0 0 228
Friendly 2019 45 98 0 0 0 0 0 0 143
total counting for ranking 182 270 185 231 127 26 56 8 1085
not counting for ranking 41 16 21 1 3 0 0 0 82

With the new calculation normally the points gained by one team in a match are lost by the opponent. Exceptions are:
- when a match ends in a PSO. Then the PSO-winner gets 0.75 and the PSO-loser gets 0.5 as result of the match;
- knock-out matches in final competitions (World Cup, continental finals, Nations League finals). Then both teams can't lose points.

There are 4 types of matches in this analysis:
1 the intraconfederational matches (regular): 837 matches;
2 the intraconfederational matches (exceptions): 59 matches;
3 the interconfederational matches (regular): 181 matches;
4 the interconfederational matches (exceptions): 8 matches;


Number of matches per competition and type of match and pso/ko

tournament             \              type 1 2 3 4   pso knock-out
AFC Nations Cup 2019 36 15 0 0 2 15
CHAN 2020 Q 4 0 0 0 0 0
CAF Nations Cup 2019 36 12 0 0 4 12
CAF Nations Cup 2019 Q 116 0 0 0 0 0
CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 21 7 0 0 1 7
CONCACAF NL 2020 Q 47 0 0 0 0 0
Copa America 2019 12 8 6 0 3 8
COSAFA Cup 2018 6 1 0 0 1 0
COSAFA Cup 2019 11 1 0 0 1 0
EAFF Cup 2019 Q 9 0 0 0 0 0
FIFA World Cup 2018 6 9 42 7 4 16
FIFA World Cup 2022 Q 11 0 0 0 0 0
Friendly 2018 138 1 89 0 1 0
Friendly 2019 97 1 44 1 2 0
SAFF Cup 2018 12 0 0 0 0 0
ASEAN Cup 2018 26 0 0 0 0 0
ASEAN Cup 2018 Q 2 0 0 0 0 0
South Pacific Games 2019 9 0 0 0 0 0
UEFA EURO 2020 Q 100 0 0 0 0 0
UEFA Nations League 2019 138 4 0 0 1 4
total (counting for ranking) 837 59 181 8 20 62

Summed points per confederation and type of match

confederation \  type            1               2               3               4          total      perc
UEFA 0,000 264,417 192,511 106,981 563,909 53%
CONMEBOL 0,000 125,741 101,062 46,828 273,632 26%
CONCACAF 0,000 105,638 -143,377 1,845 -35,894 -3%
CAF 0,000 171,548 -150,850 0,000 20,698 2%
AFC 0,000 243,146 3,592 0,655 247,394 23%
OFC 0,000 0,000 -2,938 0,000 -2,938 0%
total 0,000 910,490 0,000 156,309 1066,800


Number of matches (where at least one team of a confederation participated) and type of match

confederation \  type            1               2               3               4          total      perc
UEFA 283 13 70 6 372 29%
CONMEBOL 22 8 93 6 129 10%
CONCACAF 101 7 63 2 173 14%
CAF 206 14 40 0 260 20%
AFC 208 17 86 2 313 25%
OFC 17 0 10 0 27 2%
total 837 59 362 16 1274


Average points per match (where at least one team of a confederation participated) and type of match

confederation \  type               1               2               3               4          total
UEFA 0,000 20,340 2,750 17,830 1,516
CONMEBOL 0,000 15,718 1,087 7,805 2,121
CONCACAF 0,000 15,091 -2,276 0,922 -0,207
CAF 0,000 12,253 -3,771 0,000 0,080
AFC 0,000 14,303 0,042 0,328 0,790
OFC 0,000 0,000 -0,294 0,000 -0,109
total 0,000 15,432 0,000 9,769 0,837


Conclusions
- some 1067 points (0,42% of the initial total points) were injected in the total ranking system the past 13 months;
- UEFA contributes 53% of those points (even without a EURO played). CONMEBOL and AFC contribute each some 25%. The other confederations gained or lost only marginally;
- CONCACAF en CAF perform badly in terms of average points gained/lost per match. Please note that the points CAF will gain in the coming semi-finals, 3rd place play-off and final in Egypt are not incorporated in this analysis. OFC has as usual only a small sample (and no OFC Nations Cup played yet) but their performance is also not convincing.
- UEFA and CONMEBOL score heavily in the interconfederational matches (mostly World Cup and friendly matches) at the expense of CONCACAF and CAF.

About me:

Software engineer, happily unmarried and non-religious. You won't find me on Twitter or other so called social media. Dutchman, joined the blog in March 2018.

21 comments:

  1. Thank you very much @Ed, that was a very comprehensive analysis!
    Africa seems to be gaming the system to gain advantage for its teams, by having a knockout stage of 16 teams, and an African Cup of Nations every 2 years. That alone would give it's teams more than 400 points every 4 years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Overview per confederation of total number of knock-out matches in final competitions. These are the most relevant source to gain extra points for the teams within a confederation, besides the knock-out matches in the World Cup who are in general more interconfederational in composition.

    confederation
    # teams in final competition
    # ko-matches
    frequency in 4 year cycle
    # ko-matches in Nations League
    frequency NL in 4 year cycle
    total # ko-matches in 4 year cycle

    CAF - 24 - 16 - 2 - 0 - 0 - 32
    UEFA - 24 - 15 - 1 - 4 - 2 - 23
    CONCACAF - 16 - 7 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 20
    AFC - 24 - 15 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 15
    CONMEBOL - 10 + 2 guests (AFC) - 8 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 8
    OFC - 8 - 3 - 1 - 0 - 0 - 3
    Indeed, CAF is front-runner in this aspect. I don't know if they are exactly 'gaming the system' :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shouldn't the CAF NL be included? AFC, OFC and CONMEBOL could follow suit. A couple of those NL trnys are already in the works.

      CONMEBOL had 3 Copas in the last 4 years and there'll be another one next year. The frequency in a 4 year cycle was definitely higher than 1x. In future CONMEBOL plans to hold the Copa once every 4 years. Yet it wouldn't be a surprise if they keep adding Copas, especially in case there's no NL.

      Apropos, any idea how Asia's plethora of tournaments, Africa's CHAN, etc. will be treated in FIFA's ranking. Do you have an overview of the weightings of all matches (with educated guesses whenever FIFA hasn't been clear about the weighting).

      Delete
    2. Does CAF NL exist ? This is an overview of the current situation.

      Indeed CONMEBOL had an extra Copa Centenario in 2016 and now the transition to the same pattern as the EURO next year. But seeing the regular number of knock-out matches that's merely justified. They just don't want to start the new ranking calculation being behind the top-Europeans, that's all :)

      All regional tournaments and also the CHAN are treated as friendlies (I-factor is 5 or 10 (outside or inside FIFA Match Window)) for the FIFA ranking as you can see in the post above these comments for all tournaments the past year. The I-factor is higher only for Nations League matches (15 or 25 (finals)), continental and World Cup qualifiers (25), continental final tournaments (35 or 40 (from quarter finals)) en the World Cup final tournament (50 or 60 (from quarter finals)). See FIFA's manual about the calculations.

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    3. The UEFA Nations League idea is spreading!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9321_CAF_Nations_League

      And AFC could be next:
      https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/the-asian-version-of-uefa-s-nations-league-and-what-it-means-for-india

      Delete
    4. For a important new large-scale tournament supposed to start in August 2019 (that's 1 month from now, mind you) the wiki-page contains frightingly little concrete info about format, schedule, draw etc.
      OK, it's Africa and we all know that supplying correct information well on time is not their strong suit. But this is the first thing I hear about it at all. I would like to see some more concrete information. Anybody ?

      Of course the other confederations have paid attention when the UEFA Nations League started, but so far (besides CONCACAF) it's no more than plans to do something like it. Let's wait and see if the plans solidify.

      Delete
    5. Ed, what will be the probably seed for Concacf in June 2020.

      And for the 10 African Groups.
      Which might use october or november FIFA Rankings as the preliminary matches will be played in September

      Delete
    6. Regarding the CAF NL:

      According to this article (https://www.alg24.net/caf-bientot-fin-systeme-eliminatoires-de-can/) Africa's NL clone will be part of the new AFCON Qs. For the rest it contains the same info as the wiki although if matches are played during "dates fixées par la FIFA" then it would start early September. AFCON2019 was expanded to 24 teams and moved to summer when the qualis had already started. Something similar could happen to CAF's NL (+ linking it to AFCON qualification). Currently I can't provide more info (maybe in the next few days). I mainly follow AP and Reuters around the time changes can be expected. That's why I could share the new European WCQs format so quickly (a while ago in another thread). Maybe you already follow Rob Harris on twitter (he usually has good facts).

      OFC also confirmed they're working on an NL of their own:
      https://footballoceania.com/2019/06/10/ofc-confirm-nations-league-proposal/

      Like Forza said, AFC are looking into it as well and so are CONMEBOL. Infantino hasn't dropped the global NL idea. He's more focused on expanding the CWC now but I expect he'd like others, besides UEFA and CONCACAF, to gear up for the global NL and create their own NL trnys asap. I'll let you know about any developments wrt the NL clones unless somebody beats me to it.

      Delete
    7. Ed, thank you for your earlier response.

      I looked at what's to be expected in the 2019-22 cycle (two Copas, CAF NL, etc.). For the 4 years after Brazil 2014, up to Russia 2018, we don't have to make guesses yet with the new tournaments and expansions that cycle isn't as interesting. Strikingly, there are quite a few high-yielding ko-matches in CONMEBOL, especially as they've fewer members than OFC. The format for the next Copa allows 4 teams from each group to advance which promises a lot of dead rubbers and is basically a relegation fight. Could as well gone with groups of 5 teams (without invitees) and have group winners + runners-up advance to the semis. To have quarters they should look for 16 teams, like in the Copa Centenario.

      With regional tournaments being treated as friendlies does this also mean that points will be deducted for losses in ko-rounds? FIFA didn't define what a championship tournament/final competition is. E.g. is the Solidarity Cup one of those? Or before the UNL I assumed FIFA wouldn't view it as a championship tournament but it turned out they did. And what about invitational tournaments (like the Kirin Cup, China Cup, etc.; come to think of it the Copa is invitational as well or at least as far as the invited teams are concerned)? I hope regional and invitational tournaments don't cause points inflation as well.

      Besides PSOs (draw for PSO loser/"half a win" for PSO winner) and no points deduction for losses in ko-rounds I'm guessing new FIFA members could also inflate FIFA's ranking. Most likely a newly admitted member wouldn't have to start from scratch but would be gifted well over 800 points.

      Delete
    8. A newly admitted member wouldn't necessary cause an inflation. in fact if it starts with less points then their real strength, it would actually deflate the points for its continent.

      Delete
    9. To avoid confusion, I'm equating inflation to injecting points into FIFA's ranking that didn't exist before (anything that causes more points to be in circulation). A straightforward way of narrowing down which confeds for example have conjured up X amounts of points out of thin air.

      Sure, by adding real strength to the equation you can claim that a newly admitted member could deflate the points for its continent (in interconfed. matches they can win points for their continent though, especially before their real strength is better reflected in the ranking). Yet this also implies that any result that didn't correspond to the real strengths of the teams in a game will cause inflation/deflation. When a weak team beats a strong opponent it's a simple exchange of points. It's odd to call this inflation. You end up cherrypicking when you apply real strength in one situation and not the other though.

      The view that inflation/deflation is connected to the real strength of teams raises more questions:

      - For a newly admitted member with less points than their real strength to deflate the points for its continent you have to assume that there'll be too much competition for points once they've joined (in a sense that can be called deflation). Still what's the norm by which we say: "after a new team joins there's too much competition for points"? E.g. how would the deflation they've caused be calculated?

      - If there's such a norm then FIFA already fell foul of it. No way that every team's real strength is reflected in their points total. How do you make adjustments or will you simply wait until the points totals stabilize and better reflect each team's real strength? Is this even possible with the limited amount of games, especially between teams from different confeds?

      - how would you go about calculating the points total of a newly admitted member in order to have their real strength properly reflected?

      ...

      Delete
  3. Hi Ed
    In the 2018 world cup round of 16 knockout match back on July 1, 2018 between Russia and Spain with Russia winning in penalty shootout 4-3, did Spain gained or loose ranking points in the shootout loss? It seem like their ranking points stayed the same after the round of 16. How is that possible?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spain didn't lose any points (nor did they gain points).

      FIFA's explanation: "Matches decided in a PSO are treated as a draw for the losing team... (If PSO, then W for losing team= 0.5; W for winning team= 0.75). Teams that earn negative points in the knock-out round
      of a final competition (e.g. as a result of losing, losing after PSO or even winning after PSO against a weaker team)
      do not lose any points.

      *PSO = penalty shootout

      Delete
  4. So in other words if a low ranking team defeats a high ranking team in a penalty shootout in knockout roIunds then the low rank team would gain ranking points and the high rank team would not gain or loose ranking points? I think I came with the ranking point results for both teams after the match. Russia 1398.658 and Spain still with the same points before and after the match 1580.293

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  5. It all comes down to the rule that in the knock-out stage in final tournaments teams can't lose points. So if the regular calculation results in a loss of points for a team, the points loss will be cancelled and instead the team will have the same points as before the match.

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  6. Regarding the supposed CAF NL:
    Today is scheduled the AFCON 2021 qualifying draw. Format and seddings are already known, so I doubt the Nations League could be already linked with the AFCON 2021 (source: https://www.sport24.co.za/Soccer/AFCON/2021-africa-cup-of-nations-qualifying-seeding-20190704).
    However, the previous news reported on wikipedia from other medias seems to be illogical. A competition played in august (outside Fifa windows, so when clubs are not obliged to release the most important players), not linked with the AFCON and with only 36 teams interested to participate should become automatically an unimportant friendly tournament, in which more than one team could deploy B or C team (like in the regional tournaments). I don't see any good reason for the CAF to introduce such a minor competition in an already busy calendar. Probably the news reported by media were totally inaccurate, a nations league make sense only if played in the international windows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The tournament would take place on dates that are currently allocated for international friendlies on the FIFA International Match Calendar." That's in the wiki as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAF_Nations_League

      Also, FIFA have drawn up an 11-point plan to end the turmoil in CAF. I'm not privy to it but on Reuters' site I've read that suggestions in the plan included possible changes to the format of CAF competitions. I do expect changes in the near future and seeing FIFA have been exploring the global NL they can very well suggest CAF hold their own version. With FIFA's takeover of CAF they don't exactly lack influence.

      As soon as the CAF NL idea is more concrete I'll post it. With the chaos in CAF I don't expect to hear about it in the coming days. Let's see what happens during the next international break first.

      Delete
  7. In March Ahmad Ahmad confirmed CAF are planning an NL of their own and the project is in an advanced stage.

    https://www.jeuneafrique.com/749394/societe/football-bientot-une-ligue-des-nations-en-afrique/

    "Pour Ahmad Ahmad, une Ligue des nations africaine pourrait, comme cela est le cas pour l’UEFA et la Concacaf, s’intégrer dans le système de qualification pour la Coupe d’Afrique des nations, et pourquoi pas dès l’édition 2021 au Cameroun."

    It could be linked to qualification for AFCON2021. On short notice they've expanded AFCON to 24 teams and moved it to summer (while qualis were already in full swing), switched hosts, ...showing they don't put off until tomorrow what they can do today. We'll see if there'll be more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Right now it seems that the available FIFA match windows this autumn are designated for the play-offs in the first qualification round for the WC22 in September, the play-offs for the AFCON21 preliminary in October and the first two matchdays in the groups in AFCON21 qualifying in November. There doesn't seem to be any dates available for a CAF NL, at least this year. Unless something gets combined.
    Anyway, I don't like to guess at all possible plans and rather stick to what is realised. Let's wait and see....

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