FIFA World Ranking system (2006–2018)

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The FIFA men's ranking system 2006–2018 is a calculation technique previously used by FIFA for ranking men's national teams in football. The ranking system was introduced by FIFA after the 2006 FIFA World Cup, as an update to an earlier system, and was replaced after the 2018 World Cup with a revised Elo-based system.

FIFA International governing body of association football

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is a non-profit organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and efootball. It is the highest governing body of football.

2006 FIFA World Cup 18th FIFA World Cup, held in Germany in 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament. It was the second time that Germany staged the competition, and the tenth time that it was held in Europe.

The FIFA men's ranking system 1999–2006 is a calculation technique previously used by FIFA for ranking men's national teams in football (soccer). The ranking system was introduced by FIFA in 1999, as an update to an earlier system, and was replaced after the 2006 World Cup with a simplified system.

Contents

The system, like the previous ones, is extremely similar to that of a league, though with changes made to ensure that it is still representative of the teams' performance despite playing differing numbers of matches per annum, and the differing strength of opposition that teams have to face. The factors taken into account are as follows:

Teams' actual scores are a result of the average points gained over each calendar year; matches from the previous four years are considered, with more weight being given to recent ones.

Origin

The new rankings were compiled in response to criticism from the media. [1] Meetings were attended by FIFA staff and external experts and a large amount of research was conducted by this group, resulting in the new ranking system. [1] The new system was confirmed in Leipzig on 7 December 2005 by a committee of FIFA executives. Notable changes include the dropping of the home or away advantage and number of goals from the calculation, and the simplification of many aspects of the system.

Leipzig Place in Saxony, Germany

Leipzig is the most populous city in the German federal state of Saxony. With a population of 587,857 inhabitants as of 2018, it is Germany's eighth most populous city as well as the second most populous city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin. Together with Halle (Saale), the largest city of the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt, the city forms the polycentric conurbation of Leipzig-Halle. Between the two cities lies Leipzig/Halle International Airport.

International "A" matches

In October 2012, FIFA released a press circular defining what is considered to be an international "A" match.

For the purposes of the ranking, FIFA defines an international "A" match as a match between two FIFA members for which both members field their first representative team ("A" team).

The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking is based on a list of all international "A" matches that are recognised by FIFA.

International "A" matches include matches played as part of the FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, FIFA Confederations Cup, continental final tournaments, continental qualifying competitions and international friendlies.

FIFA World Cup Association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

The FIFA Confederations Cup was an international association football tournament for men's national teams, held every four years by FIFA. It was contested by the holders of each of the six continental championships, along with the current FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation, to bring the number of teams up to eight.

Jérôme Valcke, FIFA.com [2]

Win, draw or defeat

In previous years a complicated system of points allocation was used, depending on how strong the opponent was, and how large the loss margin, which allowed weaker losing teams to gain points when playing a much stronger opposition, if they managed to put up a decent match. With the new system, the points allocation is simpler: three points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss, in line with most league systems around the world.

In the event of a match being decided by a penalty shootout, the winning team receives two points, and the losing team one point.

ResultPoints
Win (no penalty shootout)3
Win (penalty shootout)2
Draw1
Loss (penalty shootout)1
Loss (no penalty shootout)0

Until November 2012, in two-legged play-offs, if Team A lost the first leg 2 – 0, then matched the result in the return leg and won after a penalty shootout, it received two points. However, if Team A won the return leg by one goal only, being eliminated in the process, it received 3 points. [3] FIFA fixed this flaw starting with the November 2012 ranking. [4] [5]

Match status

Different matches have different importance to teams, and FIFA has tried to respect this by using a weighting system, where the most significant matches are in the World Cup finals, [6] and the lowest weighted are friendly matches. FIFA states that it wishes to recognise that friendlies are still important, since they make up half of the competitive matches counted in the rankings. [7] FIFA also stated, however, that it did not plan to make any adjustment for teams that qualify directly for major tournaments. [8] [9]

The match status multipliers are as follows:

Match statusMultiplier
Friendly match× 1.0
FIFA World Cup and Continental cup qualifiers× 2.5
Continental cup and Confederations Cup finals× 3.0
World Cup finals match× 4.0

Opponent strength

A win against a very highly ranked opponent is a considerably greater achievement than a win against a low-rated opponent, thus the strength of the opposing team is an important factor.

The new system uses an opposition strength factor based on team rankings. The previous system was based on points difference.

The formula used is:

with the exceptions that the team ranked #1 is given a multiplier of 2, and teams ranked 150th and below are assigned the minimum multiplier of 0.5.

The ranking position is taken from the opposition's ranking in the most recently published FIFA World Ranking before the match is included in the ranking calculation. [10]

The rankings published before July 2006 are purely historical and are not used for the new ranking calculation. Instead, FIFA went back as far as 1996 to apply the new formula and is using those new rankings for the current calculations. [11]

See the detailed break-down of point totals for teams from the top 20 in the October 2007 rankings. [12]

Regional strength

In addition to the opposition strength multiplier, FIFA considers the relative strength of entire confederations in the calculation. Each confederation is assigned a weighting between 0.85 and 1.0, based on the relative performance of the confederations in the last three World Cups. Their values are as follows: [13] [14] [15]

ConfederationAfter 2014 World CupAfter 2010 World CupAfter 2006 World CupUp to and including 2006 World Cup
UEFA (Europe)0.991.001.001.00
CONMEBOL (South America)1.001.000.981.00
CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean)0.850.880.850.88
AFC (Asia)0.850.860.850.85
CAF (Africa)0.850.860.850.85
OFC (Oceania)0.850.850.850.85

The multiplier used in the calculation is the average of the regional strength weighting of the two teams:

FIFA changed the formula used to compute the confederation weightings after the 2010 FIFA World Cup without public announcement. [16] Without this modification, UEFA's multiplier would have dropped for the first time below 1, with CONMEBOL remaining the only confederation with a multiplier of 1. [17]

The confederation weighting for AFC was increased in August 2011 from 0.85 to 0.86 [18] after a computer programmer found an error in FIFA's calculations. [16]

Assessment period

Matches played over the last four years (48 months) are included in the calculation, but there is a weighting to put more emphasis on recent results. Previously an eight-year period was used. The date weighting is as follows:

Date of matchMultiplier
Within the last 12 months× 1.0
12–24 months ago× 0.5
24–36 months ago× 0.3
36–48 months ago× 0.2

If a team exceeds the assessment period without playing a match, it is temporarily removed from the rankings, and is reinstated as soon as it plays a match again. The most recent team to be temporarily absent from the rankings is São Tomé and Príncipe (reinstated in November 2011, after having been removed in December 2007).

Ranking formula

The final ranking points figure for a single match is multiplied by 100 and rounded to the nearest whole number.

Results for all matches played in the year are averaged together (assuming at least five matches have been played). The average ranking points for the four previous years, weighted by their multiplier mentioned above, are added together to arrive at the final ranking points.

Examples

The following examples use these hypothetical teams and confederations, and assume the games are played within the last 12 months:

A friendly match is played between Amplistan and Bestrudia. Amplistan wins 2–1.

MatchTeamResult pointsMatch statusOpposition strengthRegional strengthRanking points
Amplistan vs. Bestrudia (friendly)
Result: 2–1
Amplistan
Bestrudia
3
0
1.0
1.0
0.50
1.98
0.94
0.94
141
0

Bestrudia gets no ranking points because it lost the game, so all factors are multiplied by zero.

Amplistan's 141 ranking points are calculated like this:

More examples:

MatchTeamResult pointsMatch statusOpposition strengthRegional strengthRanking points
Amplistan vs. Bestrudia (friendly)
Result: 1–2
Amplistan
Bestrudia
0
3
1.0
1.0
0.50
1.98
0.94
0.94
0
558
Amplistan vs. Bestrudia (friendly)
Result: 1–1
Amplistan
Bestrudia
1
1
1.0
1.0
0.50
1.98
0.94
0.94
47
186
Amplistan vs. Bestrudia (World Cup finals)
Result: 2–1
Amplistan
Bestrudia
3
0
4.0
4.0
0.50
1.98
0.94
0.94
564
0
Amplistan vs. Bestrudia (World Cup finals)
Result: 1–1 (Bestrudia wins on penalties)
Amplistan
Bestrudia
1
2
4.0
4.0
0.50
1.98
0.94
0.94
188
1488
Amplistan vs. Conesto (friendly)
Result: 1–2
Amplistan
Conesto
0
3
1.0
1.0
1.61
1.98
0.99
0.99
0
588
Conesto vs. Delphiz (Continental cup qualifiers)
Result: 4–0
Conesto
Delphiz
3
0
2.5
2.5
1.70
1.61
0.96
0.96
1224
0
Conesto vs. Delphiz (Continental cup qualifiers)
Result: 0–1
Conesto
Delphiz
0
3
2.5
2.5
1.70
1.61
0.96
0.96
0
1159
Conesto vs. Amplistan (World Cup finals)
Result: 0–0 (Amplistan wins on penalties)
Conesto
Amplistan
1
2
4.0
4.0
1.98
1.61
0.99
0.99
784
1275

Conesto gets more points than Bestrudia for defeating the same team (Amplistan) because of the higher weighting of its confederation.

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References

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  5. "FIFA Ranking: Penalty shoot-out matches". Football-Rankings.info. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  6. Finals is used in this sense to mean the 'final tournament' (as opposed to the qualifying tournament)
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  9. However, 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts South Africa competed in CAF qualifying despite automatically qualifying for the World Cup; this is because CAF chose to combine the 2010 World Cup qualifying tournament with the qualifiers for the 2010 African Cup of Nations, an event for which South Africa had to separately qualify. South Africa failed to qualify for the 2010 African Cup of Nations.
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  11. "FIFA miscalculated the rankings... or did they?". Football-rankings.info. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  12. "Calculation FIFA Coca-Cola world ranking October 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 23 June 2014.
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See also