There have been many questions why India didn’t gain any points for the win against Qatar in an international friendly recently. The answer is quite simple: FIFA has limited the number of substitutions in a friendly match to 6 players per team, if it should be counted as an official friendly match. India changed the whole team at half-time and therfore the match was declarred an unofficial friendly match.
The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for national teams and we all know about the importance of it to the football fraternity. But do you know how the ranking is calculated? No? Well, here are the answers to your questions..
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) introduced a listing in rank order of its member associations in December 1992 and decided to publish the ranking more frequently from the following August. Significant changes were implemented in 1999 and again in 2006, as a reaction to criticisms of the system.
10 QUESTIONS – 10 ANSWERS
1. WHAT COUNTS TOWARDS THE RANKING?
All international “A” (senior national team) matches played in the previous four years (48 months).
2. HOW ARE RANKING POINTS CALCULATED?
The basic logic of these calculations is simple. Any team that does well in world football wins points and lays the foundations for climbing the world ranking. However, the number of points that can actually be won in a match depends on the following factors:
• Was the match won, or did it end in a draw? (M)
• How important was the match (friendly match to FIFA World Cup™)? (I)
• How strong was the opponent in terms of its ranking position and the confederation to which it belongs? (T and C)
|These factors are brought together in the following formula to ascertain the total number of points (P).|
|P = M x I x T x C x 100|
The following codes and conditions apply to the calculation of points:
M: Points for a victory (3 points), a draw (1 point) or a defeat (0 points) In a penalty shoot-out the winning team gains 2 points, the losing team 1 point.
I: Importance of a match with the following weighting:
Friendly match (including small tournaments): I = 1.0
World Cup qualifier and continental qualifier: I = 2.5
Continental final competition and FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0
World Cup final competition: I = 4.0
T: Strength of opposition calculated according to the following formula:
[200 – ranking position of opposition] ÷ 100
Only the team at the top of the ranking is assigned the value 2.00 (teams ranked 150th and below are assigned the minimum weighting of 0.50).
The ranking position is taken from the opposition’s ranking in the most recently published FIFA World Ranking.
C: The strength of a confederation. When calculating intercontinental matches, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions. Their values are as follows.
|Confederation||After 2006 FIFA World Cup™||Up to and including 2006 FIFA World Cup™|
Example of calculation
It should be noted that a team’s ranking position and the total number of points cannot be determined only from the points totals for individual matches. Matches are combined with earlier games to provide an average value, and matches are devalued over a period of four years (100%, 50%, 30%, 20%).
France v. Brazil (quarter-final, 2006 FIFA World Cup™)
|Team A||Team B|
|Date of match||July 1, 2006|
|Status of match||WC final competition|
|M (points for result)||0||3|
|I (status of match)||4.0|
|T (strength of opponent)||1.94||2.00|
|C (strength of confederation)||0.995|
|P = M x I x T x C x 100||0.0||2,388.0|
The maximum number of points that can be won in one match is 2,400. In this case, the maximum number of points was not attained because CONMEBOL has a strength of less than 1.0.
3. WHO BENEFITS?
Generally speaking, the biggest winners are the teams who win competitive matches, especially against high-ranking opponents. Draws secure only limited gains, particularly in friendly matches, while defeats do not bring any points.
4. WHO LOSES OUT?
Teams who often lose or draw matches will get fewer points. Furthermore, any team that records a major victory (e.g. a continental championship title) will suffer losses in the ranking 12 months later if, by that time, it has not gained lots of points in more recent matches.
5. WHAT HAPPENS TO TEAMS THAT HAVE NOT PLAYED ENOUGH?
If a team has played less than five matches in the preceding 12 months, its total for the year (e.g. for the three matches it has played) is simply divided by five.
6. WHY DO TEAMS SOMETIMES LOSE POINTS EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NOT PLAYED?
The longer it is since a match was played, the less important it becomes for the ranking. This continues until, after four years, the match no longer has any impact on the calculation of the ranking. As a result, it is possible for teams to climb or fall in the ranking even if they have not played.
7. WHY IS THE RANKING NOT CALCULATED EXCLUSIVELY ON THE BASIS OF RESULTS IN MAJOR COMPETITIONS?
Because it would mean that small associations would not even make it into the ranking as they never qualify for the top events. Moreover, the statistics show that 50% of matches taken into account in the ranking between 2002-2005 were friendlies. These matches are also important for the nations hosting major championships since they do not usually have to take part in qualifiers.
8. WHY DOES THE CALCULATION INCLUDE A CONFEDERATION WEIGHTING?
Matches between teams from different confederations (interconfederational matches) are relatively rare. The separate regions therefore retain the character of autonomous and relatively closed leagues that are only partially comparable with one another.
9. IS IT POSSIBLE TO CALCULATE POTENTIAL POINTS GAINS BEFORE A MATCH?
Yes. Plans are being made to introduce a tool that will allow anyone who is interested in the world ranking to calculate potential and actual points gains and monitor the overall progress of their chosen team on FIFA.com.
10. WHY ARE HOST NATIONS THAT DO NOT HAVE TO COMPETE IN QUALIFYING MATCHES NOT GIVEN A SPECIAL STATUS?
Because FIFA does not want to jeopardise the desired transparency and also to take account of the fact that host nations have the advantage of automatic qualification in any case. The host nations of major tournaments only contest friendly matches for a certain period. As a result, they may fall in the world ranking.
(Sources: FIFA & Wikipedia)