In the first part, I talked about the way FIFA assign points for every match. In this part, I will explain how they calculate the total points’ scores that decide the ranking position of each nation.
For every country, FIFA average all the points that are gained over the last 12 months. If a team played 10 games in the last 12 months, they will add together all the points gained during this period and divide the total by 10.
Then they will do the same of the previous three years. In total, 4 years results are taken into consideration.
The value of each year’s points will undergo depreciation according to this formula:
100% of the points gained in the most recent 12 months’
50% of points from the second 12 months
30% of the third 12 months
20% of the fourth 12 months
Then, you add all the resulting points together to form the “overall total points” and this will decide the placement on the ranking table.
As you can see the most depreciation takes place after the first year where 50% of the value is lost.
If you review the February ranking you can see that the African teams are the ones which showed the most dramatic tumbles.
This happened because the points that were gained in January 2010, due to the African cup of nations, have been reduced to 50%.
In addition to Egypt, Algeria dropped 19 places, Gabon 21 places and Nigeria 8 places.
Likewise, last July, most of the CONCACAF teams lost significant ground due to the depreciation of the Gold Cup results in June 2009, except the USA and Mexico because their participation in the World Cup 2011 prevented such drop.
For example, Canada dropped 37 places and Panama 20 places and El Salvador 18 places. All occurred overnight.
Why should the Ghana team, which was by far the best African team in the world cup 2010 and which played in the final game of African Cup of Nations against Egypt, wait until this month to reach the summit of Africa.
I believe that the large depreciations that take place each year can be changed to a more gradual depreciation.
Instead of 50% depreciation in the first year, for example, we can introduce a depreciation of 4% applied each time the ranking table updates are being performed, which usually take place every month.
For the following years, instead of additional 20% for the second year, we can introduce a 2% monthly depreciation, then after that 1% until the end of 4 years period.
This protocol will guarantee a gradual descending of the team on the ranking table and we wouldn’t see such a drastic alteration of the schedule. And Ghana would have been the top ranked African team much sooner.
The downside of this method is the fact that it takes a lot of work every month. But in the age of very advanced and sophisticated computer programming, this problem can be easily resolved.
What do you think?
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