Since its introduction in August 1993, the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has become a regular part of international sports reports and an important indicator for FIFA's member associations to find out where their respective teams stand in world football’s pecking order and how they are progressing.
Nevertheless, the increasingly high profile of the world ranking has also brought a certain amount of criticism that its calculation formula is too complicated. It was therefore decided in 2005 to revise the ranking in order to simplify the way in which it is calculated.
A multinational group comprising FIFA staff and external experts was subsequently formed to find a new procedure for drawing up the world ranking. Extensive tests and assessments were then carried out, which - following a number of presentations - reached their conclusion at the end of 2005.
Transparency and simplicity - the key principles guiding the revision - have been combined with sporting criteria (i.e. the reality of world football) and statistical requirements to establish the new and simplified method of calculation that the FIFA Executive Committee ratified at its meeting in Leipzig, Germany, on 7 December 2005.
The most important change to the calculation of the ranking is that it will no longer take into account the last eight years of results but only four. At the same time, all of the other factors previously taking into account (result, importance of match, strength of opponents, regional strength, number of matches considered) were tested, analysed and, in some cases, totally revised. In fact, two of the factors that were previously used (goals scored and home advantage) will no longer have any impact on the ranking.
The new method will be applied immediately after the FIFA World Cup™, namely, when the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking appears on 12 July 2006.
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