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Thread: FIFA World Rankings - They're really quite crap did you know?

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member Johnners's Avatar
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    FIFA World Rankings - They're really quite crap did you know?

    Given it seems mandatory upon mentioning the FIFA World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - that you say how rubbish they are, would someone who knows how the Fifa World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - work, explain why it is that they're so messed up?

    It's kinda frustrating how most times someone (generally someone who is new to the sport/more of a casual fan) brings up the FIFA World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - , they're shot down, told the rankings are crap yada yada yada but there's never an explanation as to why.
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Someone will go into more detail than me. But to give you a taster. The rankings first of all penalise sides playing no competitive football, e.g. Brazil for the past couple of years. Certain competitions seem to count more highly than they perhaps should which is why the US are normally high, even when they don't have a particularly good side, and I'm not sure how much strength of opposition takes into account but there's always a European side who's had a clearly easier qualifying group that they've waltzed through and as a result they see their ranking beefed up. I think this may be the case with Switzerland.

    There's also the fact that England are pretty much always in the top 10 over recent years when we've not deserved it since about 06.

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    They're utterly meaningless because competitive, intercontinental fixtures only occur once every 4 years. There is little to no context in comparing Colombia to say, France.

    European, South American etc rankings would work, but ranking the sides against each other in a meaningful way is next to impossible.

    edit: then you have to consider the flaws like Brazil tumbling down the rankings due to no competitive fixtures as a result of hosting the World Cup and slweird anomalies that always get thrown up. Teams like Mexico and the US constantly sit near or in the top 10 as a reward for smashing Caribbean islands in qualifying when neither side has threatened the World Cup quarter finals.
    Last edited by Furball; 09-07-2014 at 07:08 AM.

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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnners View Post
    there's never an explanation as to why.
    You only have to look at them to see why they have no credibility whatsoever.


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    International Regular Stapel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnners View Post
    Given it seems mandatory upon mentioning the FIFA World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - that you say how rubbish they are, would someone who knows how the Fifa World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - work, explain why it is that they're so messed up?

    It's kinda frustrating how most times someone (generally someone who is new to the sport/more of a casual fan) brings up the FIFA World Rankings - they're really quite crap did you know? - , they're shot down, told the rankings are crap yada yada yada but there's never an explanation as to why.
    Well, I've done that exactly, just prior to the WC group lottery, when I find out that we (NL) were not seeded in the top 8, and would consequently lose our position as group head.
    -First clue is, as lame as it may be, what several have stated: there always seem to be utterly crap teams in the FIFA top 10. This time around, there were Greece, USA, Uruguay, Colombia, Chili, Belgium & Switzerland ahead of the WC runner-up.....
    -I checked the FIFA ranking system, and found out the WC-qualifying matches were quite important. The system looked fair in itself........ Yet, as the Dutch team had drawn one qualifier and won the rest, not being seeded still puzzled the hell out of me....... No team did better during the qualifications than we did!
    -A deeper look cleared things up: The FIFA-thing has a modifier for difference in position on the list. If you are far behind your opponent, you can actually gain many points. Though this could be fair, the other way around things go really bad. If you play teams that are low on the list, you hardly earn any points at all. The FIFA list is based on the the accumulated points in a certain period (24 months? not sure). The Dutch team only played low ranked teams during the qualification and thus had no chance.....

    The point, however, is that the FIFA ranking system, though being systematically changed every other year or so, has been consistently crap forever. I remember Mexico and the USA being in the top10 (or even top 5?)....


    I do not mean to be patronising, but the best way to show one knows exactly nothing about football, is bringing up a FIFA ranking position in a discussion.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Use the ELO Rating system instead. Much simpler and much superior.

    The FIFA rankings are dismal because they work on an average points basis where there is a massive loading towards winning over drawing and an even larger loading towards competitive fixtures over friendlies. Any friendly of any kind will cause any side of any note to lose ranking points as they reduce your average points yield.

    The ELO rankings work on win expectation - a win can never see your rating fall.
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    ELO is far superior to the way FIFA rankings and similar logic to ELO is what I would base my ratings on if I had to come up with a system but it's not perfect.

    "The ELO rankings work on win expectation - a win can never see your rating fall." - I don't really agree that this is a good thing for instance. If Germany beat American Samoa 1-0 at home, for instance, their rating should fall. That is entirely hypothetical obviously.
    Last edited by Tom Halsey; 09-07-2014 at 01:03 PM.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I'd always thought them as a harmless, if arbitrary, distraction. However this time around the seedings were solely (well, almost, the hosts get a free candle still) based on them, which has skewed the comp.

    I won't whinge about our group because we're patently a bit shyte just now and got exactly what we deserved, but it's obvious a group of Germany, the US, Ghana and Portugal is stronger than one containing Belgium, Russia, Algeria and South Korea.

    Talented collection of individuals as they are, Belgium hadn't even qualified for over a decade yet were seeded.

    Also, while I'm whinging, it's a global game now, yeah? So why not have four tiers of seeding based on actual ability rather than geographic location? It's been done before.,,
    Last edited by BoyBrumby; 10-07-2014 at 12:01 AM.
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    Australia will be ranked 76th in the post-World Cup rankings. Behind Jordan, Albania, and Cape Verde.

    Does this answer the OP's question?
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    It's an outrage. We have a fine record against Cape Verde ffs.
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