The FIFA Rankings System For Dummies…

While everybody takes note of the Fifa rankings, many are critical of it, and even more people don’t know how it is worked out. After looking at the formula, it’s not difficult to see why.

Basically, there is a ‘simple’ way of working it out, you get a certain amount of ranking points per game, and your points total helps decide your position.

Put into Layman’s terms, the points you gain per match are a multiplication of the result, the importance of the game, the quality of your opponent and the strength of the confederation it’s in.

In a formula: Points = (M x I x T x C)

M – Match result. Three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss.

I – Importance of the game. Friendlies are worth 1 point, qualifiers are worth 2.5, 3 for a Confederation (Euro, AFCON etc) or Fifa Confederation’s Cup game and 4 if it’s a World Cup match. If a game takes place between two nations from different regions, an average is taken from the two confederation scores.

T – Team quality. This is worked out by taking the number 200 and subtracting the opposition’s current ranking. If a team is ranked outside the top 150 they are given a value of 50.

C – Confederation Strength. CONMEBOL 1.00, UEFA 0.99 and AFC/CAF/OFC/CONCACAF 0.85.

So, to give an example. Jamaica got 1269.9 points for their victory against the USA in the Gold Cup. Three points for the win, three points because it was an confederation tournament, 166 for the USA’s 34th place ranking at the time and then finally 0.85 for CONCACAF’s rating. 3x3x166x0.85 = 1269.9

The final points score from the match is then added to the nation’s points average over the previous 12 months. Finally, just to add more complications, the team’s results from ‘A’ matches in the last 48 months are brought into consideration, although their significance lessens every passing year.

Averages are worth 50% of their initial score after 12 months, 30% after 24 months and 20% in the period 36-48 months after the result. When games fall outside of a four-year period, they are no longer taken into consideration.

Basically, you do not even have to play a game to fall or rise in the Fifa rankings. If you win a big game, but don’t back it up with more victories it becomes less significant every passing year.

Got it? Sort of?
Got it? Sort of?

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