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FIFA renovates world ranking system

FIFA rankings

Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

FIFA announced that there will be a change to its current rating method for national teams following the 2018 World Cup after years of complaints about the rankings.

In an attempt to stop any manipulation and provide a more objective world ranking for national teams, will introduce a new formula system after the conclusion of the World Cup which will be based on the Elo method of calculation, the method that was first developed for chess and has been adopted by a number of sports.

The current method which has been applied since 2006 was heavily criticized as it enables teams to schedule safe friendlies against weak teams to increase their points and earn better seedings at major tournaments.

“I hope it will be maybe a little bit less subject to criticism to the current one,” FIFA chairman Gianni Infantino.

After the World Cup, the new formula will give greater emphasis to the strength of opponents and results achieved in important competitions instead of friendly games.

Matches played against teams in high positions in the ranking will be worth more points. Also, matches in the knockout rounds of major competitions will provide teams with more points compared to games in the group stage.

In addition to being a hardcore football fan, Abdelrahman is a communications enthusiast who works in marketing, advertising, content creation and PR.



  1. Gogi

    June 11, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    That’s a complete farce. Those modifications do not in the slightest tackle the real problems of the ranking system, which are:
    – the UEFA and CONMEBOL coefficients
    – the dependence of points on the average ranking of the two opposing sides
    Further, they are not going to start from 0. They take the current unjust and biased ranking as the status quo for the new system.
    Some food of thought, without dwelling too much into details:
    Under the current as well as the new modified system Germany would be awarded FAR more points for a win against Brazil than Egypt would if they were to beat the Seleçao. And Zimbabwe would get even less than Egypt.

    • MHP

      June 12, 2018 at 12:44 PM

      @Gogi Problems you raise are taken care of in the new system. Confederation weighing variables are getting removed. Also, the new system does not depend on the average rankings to give points, but on the relative strength of teams. The formula takes into account difference in points of both the teams.
      So, Zimbabwe will earn more points than Egypt and Egypt more than Germany. Germany will actually get very few points since the difference of their points with Brazil is low and also because they have more points than Brazil.
      And regarding the start from a biased ranking, the way the Elo system works, time will take care of it. Think of it as a move from biased to unbiased as more and more games get played. Within a few years, the current bias would be out of the system.

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