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trent hergenrader
Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - 07:12 am:   

In case you're interested:
Compiled World Cup Table at Quarterfinal Stage

UEFA - Europe, 14 teams, 29-10-13, 67 GF, 43 GA, +24 GD, 6 teams still alive

CONMEBOL - South America, 4 teams, 10-1-4, 26 GF, 9 GA, +17 GD, 2 teams still alive

CAF - Africa, 5 teams, 3-3-10, 14 GF, 25 GA, -12 GD, all teams eliminated

AFC* - Asia, 5 teams, 2-5-9, 14 GF, 30 GA, -16 GD, all teams eliminated

CONCACAF - N & Central America, Caribbean, 4 teams, 1-3-9, 10 GF, 25 GA, -15 GD

* I lumped Australia into the Asian group
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2006 - 06:11 am:   

i heard that australia had to qualify under the south american group, facing the team who came fifth...
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trent hergenrader
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2006 - 06:51 am:   

That's how it has been for a long time but they complained--rightly so in my mind--that their qualification came down to one home-and-away series. They'd have games like their world record 31-0 victory over America Samoa to get the play-off and then they'd have to play a decent S. America side and usually lost. This time they won a close one over Uruguay.

For 2010 and thereafter they'll be qualifying through Asia and I figured it made more sense to put them in that group. If you put them with South America, it looks like this:

CONMEBOL - 11-2-5
AFC - 1-4-7

And Asia would be the only confederation not to put a team through to the knockout stages.
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trent hergenrader
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 09:33 am:   

And for more amusement, take a look at the pre-tournament FIFA World Rankings and where each team was eliminated.

01. Brazil (quarterfinalist)
02. Czech Republic (1st round)
03. Netherlands (2nd round)
04. Mexico (2nd round)
05. USA (1st round)
06. Spain (2nd round)
07. Portugal (semifinalist)
08. France (semifinalist)
09. Argentina (quarterfinalist)
10. England (quarterfinalist)
11. Nigeria (Did Not Qualify)
12. Denmark (DNQ)
13. Italy (semifinalist)
14. Turkey (DNQ)
15. Cameroon (DNQ)
16. Sweden (2nd Round)
17. Egypt (DNQ)
18. Japan (1st Round)
19. Germany (semifinalist)
20. Greece (DNQ)
21. Tunisia (1st Round)
22. Uruguay (DNQ)
23. Iran (1st Round)
24. Croatia (1st Round)
25. Romania (DNQ)
http://www.fifa.com/en/mens/statistics/index/0,2548,All-May-2006,00.html

I don't think anyone thought Brazil would bow out at the quarterfinal stage before the tournament started but is there really any argument about this ranking system being anything but silly? The inclusion of the US and Mexico in the top five is ridiculous enough, but Japan? Tunisia? Iran? All in the top 25?

South Korea at 29...Ivory Coast at 32...Australia at 42...Ghana at 48...

Scotland's at 59 stuck between Zambia and Uzbekistan, so at least that got that part right. ;)
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, July 03, 2006 - 09:22 pm:   

you gotta wonder how they come up with these rankings, don't you? do they say, by any chance?
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neil williamson
Posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - 02:24 am:   

Thanks for that Trent, although rather than "stuck", I'll have you know that Scotland have recently soared to reach the dizzy heights of 59. You should have seen where we were at the end of the Berti era.

*shudder*

We're on our way back though, oh yes!

There is a page on the FIFA site that attempts to explain exhaustively and inconclusively how the rankings are arrived at. I've never managed to understand it to my satisfaction. Anyway, I understand that they are adapting the forumla somewhat after the World Cup.
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trent hergenrader
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 06:48 am:   

I think part of it is FIFA's attempt to disprove the notion that Europe is the center of footballing power. They stick the US way up at the top in hopes of getting people here interested, I think.

My theory is that UEFA has the best leagues and all the best players and makes tons of money on events like the Champions League. FIFA wants to chip at that power base by strengthening the game in the US and Asia and promoting tournaments like the African Cup of Nations.
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neil williamson
Posted on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 - 07:23 am:   

To be honest I think most people view the FIFA rankings skeptically at best. The only honest indicatpr of where the power lies is when you look at how well the teams perform against each other, ie in the World Cup or the Confederations Cup or such like.

I can understand FIFA's trying to tap those relatively small markets in the US and Asia, but the teams from those places need to perform well too - unfortunately a USA team that say, reaches the quarters or semis, and proves the FIFA rankings to be correct would do a lot more to promote the sport than one which under performs no matter how far up the "official" ladder they are.

I usually enjoy the African Cup of Nations, but I thought it was pretty poor this year. In Europe we keep expecting African football to explode, but while we are seeing more and more players from there (and Asia and the US) in our leagues it never quite seems to happen. And where were China this year? They have the potential to be *huge*.

I guess there's a lot to be said for living in a place where football is a long established part of the culture.

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