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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

African Perspective: Challenging the Unjust FIFA World Rankings

What happens if a teacher set rules and after that does not follow them? How will a learner trust him then? Its clear learners will lose interest and belief to him. If Getafe beat Barcelona at Camp Noue, they expect to get more recognition. So as Blackburn Rovers winning at Old Trafford, the same goes for Atalanta at San Siro against AC Milan. But according to FIFA’s World rankings that seem to be not always the case.

Netherlands was number one and World Champions Spain at number two, the Dutch recorded a sensational 11-0 victory at San Marino and followed up with a 2-0 triumph at Finland. However they still lost their number one status to Spain. But at the same time one will ask, actually how it happens that the reigning World and EURO champions found themselves at number two? But before we can be critical of FIFA rankings way: lets first look at how exactly World rankings are calculated. Every game you play you get rankings points, that will determine your world rankings position, taking into account your results, quality of your opponent, importance of the game and the confederation strength.

It’s not a trigonometry according to FIFA, it’s just an easy and fair formula: here it is: Points = (MxIxTxC). M-(match results), A lose got no points while a draw and win gives you one and three points respectively. I (importance of the game), it’s a solitary point for a friendly game, 2.5 for a qualifying game. Lastly, Confederation or FIFA Confederation cup game are worth three points, and then a world cup game gives you four points. If the game takes place between two Nations from different regions, an average is taken from the Confederations scores. T (team quality), this is majored by taking number 200 and subtracting the opposition’s current world ranking. If the team is ranked outside 150 their value will be 50. And the last one is C (confederation strength) South American football confederation and EUFA both worth 1 point,
CONCACAF is worth 0.88, AFC and CAF have 0.86 and OFC are 0.85.

So here is the formula, for your judgment. But it’s clear that European clubs are more favoured compared to other confederations, e.g.: if Italy (from Europe) beat Armenia 43rd in a friendly, they will earn 468 points, but if Bafana Bafana overpower Nigeria 43rd, they can only earn 405.06 it’s the same as if England beat Montenegro, they would gain more points and that’s if South Africa defeat Ivory coast. But if they were both in Europe they can earn 60 more points, so because they’re in African they get less points, is it fair? Remember FIFA slogan, “fair play. Currently World top six consist of, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, Portugal and Italy. The highest ranked African teams are Cote D’Ivoire at 15 and South Africa are ranked and 51st.

But after all, is it fair to judge teams on world rankings only? What if a team play at Sierra Leon, it’s not only the opposition quality, but also the hostile environment that impacts on the outcome of the game. You draw your own conclusion, remember FIFA is all about fair play, and is it fair to all continents? How many African players, who made it big in World top leagues such as Barclays Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Bundesliga, Italian Seria A etc, compared to Oceania and North American players for instance? Draw your own conclusion... 

Remember, it’s always looks impossible until it’s done...

Story by Fanele Mbuyazi / Leave your comments for me below the comment box or send them via email to
©The views expressed above do not in any way represent GoXtra News, but are those of the concerned writer. 2011. Follow us on twitter here  Find us on Facebook here /leave your comments below or email: editor@goxtranews. For publication ERRORS: 

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