Football World Ranking Procedures
FOOTBALL WORLD RANKING

General overview:
Football world ranking is a new ranking system developed to compare the relative strenght of the national football teams. The ranking points of each team will change after every match played, basing on the performance achieved. To evaluate every performance, five elements are taken into consideration:
-Result of the match (win, draw or defeat);
-goal difference in the match;
-Strenght of the opponent;
-Venue of the match (home, away or neutral ground);
-Importance of the tournament;
An important difference respect the better known ELO ranking, is that a team could improve its rating even after a defeat, if the goal difference is lower than expected.
Furthermore, respect the ELO adn Fifa ranking, the K constants used for the importance of the competitions are calibrated to recognize better the real importance of the various tournaments in the international football.

The formula:

P=Pbef+(OR-Pbef+R+V)/15*K

- P: New ranking points;
- Pbef: points before the match;
- OR: points of the opponent team before the match;
- R: Points obtained for the result, adjusted for the goal difference in the game:
if a game is won by one goal R=400, if a game is won by two goals R=500, if a game is won by three goals R=550. If a game is won by 3+N goals, R=550+(50*N);
if the game ended in a draw, R=0;
if a game is lost by one goal R=-400, if a game is lost by two goals R=-500, if a game is lost by three goals R=-550. If a game is lost by 3+N goals, R=-550-(50*N);
Particular rule for matches ended at extra-times or penalty shoot-out: R=200 for the winning team, -200 for the losing team (half win and half defeat). This is applied only in a single-leg match. In two-legged play-offs only the results in the regular times will be considered.
- V: Venue of the match: -100 points for the team playing at home, +100 points for the team playing away, 0 points for both the teams if they play on neutral ground;
- K: importance of the match. The values for the various competitions are listed below;

Rule for winner's protection: It is not allowed for a team to earn negative points after a win. If the formula returns a negative variation after a win (this will happen every time the goal difference wiil be lower than expected) a minimum of 0 will be applied for the variation and the previous points will be mantained. If P<Pbef after a win, then P=Pbefore. In the same match, the loser team is instead allowed to earn positive points, like the formula will return.

Example of calculation
Match: Nigeria-Seychelles 3:1 (Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, played on march 22, 2019)

Points calculation for Nigeria:
Pbef = 1422,0627
OR = 822,2893
R = 500
V = -100
K = 1,00

P=1422,0627+(822,2893-1422,0627+500-100)/15*1,00=1408,7445=1422,0627 (winner protection rule applied)

Points calculation for Seychelles:
Pbef = 822,2893
OR = 1422,0627
R = -500
V = 100
K = 1,00

P=822,2893+(1422,0627-822,2893-500+100)/15*1,00=835,6075

New teams (rookie teams):
A new team will enter for the first time in the ranking with the same points of the last ranked team. A team that has played less than 10 match since it was included in the ranking, is considered a "rookie" team. "Rookie" teams are identified in the ranking with the number of games played in parenthesis next to the name. When a match involves one or two "rookie" teams a special rule is applied for the constant K, since the rating of the "rookie" team is considered not yet realistic. There are two possible circumstances:
- Match involving one "rookie" team: the constant applied for the type of match will be 2*K (doubled) for the "rookie" team, while it will be 0,5*K (halved) for the opponent.
- Match involving two "rookie" teams: the constant will be K (the normal constant) for both the teams.

Penalties for long inactivity
A 10% reduction of the team's ranking points will be applied for an inactivity longer than 1 year. The penalty will be applied in the first ranking published after the limit date was passed. If the team returns to play after the limit date, but before the new ranking will be published, the penalty will not be applied. A second 10% penalty will be applied after the second consecutive year of inactivity, and a third after the third consecutive year without games. A team inactive for more than 4 years will be deleted from the ranking. A deleted team that returns to play, must be considered as new team for the reintroduction in the ranking. The described procedure for "rookie" teams must be used and new points will be assigned.

Importance of the match values (K):

COMPETITIVE MATCHES:
FIFA World Cup: 2,00;
Continental Finals, Confederations Cup: 1,50;
World Cup qualification: 1,25;
Continental qualification, Nations League*, AFC Solidarity Cup: 1,00;
*initially used 0,75 for the UEFA Nations League 2018-2019 and the qualification for the first edition of the Concacaf Nations League.

NON-COMPETITIVE MATCHES:
Friendly matches and friendly tournaments** arranged inside the "FIFA windows" for international matches. : 0,50;
Friendly matches and friendly tournaments** arranged outside the "FIFA windows" for international matches: 0,25.
**If only a part of a friendly tournament is played inside a Fifa international window, all the games of the tournament will receive the constant K=0,25.

This ranking started with matches played from august 1, 2018. Several improvements of the formula were done in the past months and the ranking was recalculated each time. The four-year period until the WC2022 is considered as a transitional period (from the old system to the new) and the ranking could be subject to further changes.

For the ranking calculation, all the games are included between senior national teams who are full, associated or provisional members to one of the six continental confederations (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), even those that are not Fifa members. All the games involving unaffilated teams or age-limited teams are excluded.

 

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