Friday, July 18, 2014

Deep Analysis of the Recent FIFA World Soccer Rankings

The FIFA World Rankings came out today (Soccer’s Governing Body doing their impersonation of the College Football Top 25) – and the USA dropped two places to number 15 in the world.  At the same time the Netherlands and Costa Rica jumped up double digits in the new rankings.  Scotland at number 27 and Egypt at number 36 were the only teams in the top 50 to not change rankings at all in this first post-world cup ranking. 

There are countries that have tried to combine together to get stronger – and the results indicate that does not work well. 

In the new category of “Combined Countries”  - Bosnia and Herzegovina are ranked highest at number 19.  Trinidad and Tobago are ranked 84th.  You have to go all the way down to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (number 135) to find the next highest ranked combined country.  I think the lesson is clear – even if you combine countries and your name sounds like a Reggae Band --- FIFA Rankings are still harsh on you.  By the way --- in a manner somewhat like T-ball --- there is no clear-cut last place … number 208 is inexplicably shared by Bhutan and San Marino.  Bhutan is a small country in the Himalayas and San Marino is a little piece of land that somehow is surrounded by Italy but is not Italy.  But before we feel bad for San Marino … they have the highest per-capita standard of living in Europe with the lowest unemployment rate.  Maybe soccer is not that important after all.

Final observation of the FIFA World Rankings … putting “Republic” in your name is not a big accelerator.  The Czech Republic is ranked 35 and Korea Republic is ranked 56.  If you thought that leading with “Republic” would help – just ask the Republic of Ireland who holds down number 70. 

The big controversy in these rankings is that people have no idea how Andorra could move up two slots to number 198 while Papua New Guinea moved down three slots to 199.  Most people point to that and blame it on the East Coast Bias. 

So that is it on the current FIFA rankings --- but people it is summer time --- go out and enjoy some summer without soccer if you can.  There are County Fairs in July in most locations and I understand that on Saturday night the 8pm show at the Sonoma County Fair is going to be St. Vincent and the Grenadines – covering Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Should be awesome.

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