Tuesday, August 01, 2006

FIFA World Ranking : FIFA World Rankings

The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking system for men's national teams in football (soccer). The teams of the member nations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. A point system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of FIFA-recognized international matches. Under the existing system, rankings are based on a team's performance over the last four years, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team.

The ranking system was most recently revamped after the 2006 World Cup, with the first edition of the new series of rankings issued on July 12, 2006. The most significant change is that the rankings are now based on results over the previous four years instead of the previous eight years. The change is perceived to respond to criticisms that the rankings do not effectively reflect the relative strengths of the national teams. (See section Criticism).

Other alternative systems have been devised, such as the World Football Elo Ratings, based on the Elo rating system used in chess, ranking teams on an all time basis. The UFWC (Unofficial Football World Championships) ranks teams on the number of times they have defended the Unofficial Football World Championship, an award devised solely for that purpose.

In August 1992 FIFA, working in co-operation with sponsor Coca-Cola, introduced a ranking system for senior national teams intended to provide a fair basis of comparison of the relative strengths of these teams.[1] This system has been used by FIFA ever since and has seen some major changes to the calculation principles in its short history. The most significant changes were implemented in 1999, in order to allow FIFA's system to compete with the Elo ratings, which were considered a more accurate, credible depiction of the teams' rankings.

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