FIFA news

FIFA ranking system defended

July 6, 2012
By ESPN staff

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has defended the world governing body's ranking system, but admitted it can throw up situations that seem "not very logical."

GettyImagesRoy Hodgson praised Cole's commitment

Valcke said the rankings, which determine whether teams will be seeded in the draw for the 2014 World Cup, still presented "a good picture of the level of international football" but said FIFA wanted to be able to better explain how they worked.

The current rankings have England fourth after rising two places following their qualification for the last eight of Euro 2012, while Brazil lie 11th. Spain, Germany and Uruguay are the only teams currently ranked ahead of Roy Hodgson's side.

Italy, who beat England at the Euros, are sixth. Brazil have fallen from fifth to 11th but, as 2014 World Cup hosts, they do not play any competitive qualifiers - which means they do not gain as many ranking points.

"I know that these rankings are sometimes quite difficult to understand due to the level and numbers of criteria that are taken into account," Valcke said.

"There are teams who are playing more friendly games than other teams and you can see a difference which is not very logical - but the ranking, I would say, is clearly still a good picture of the level of international football.

"There have been internal meetings... to discuss the ranking of the different nations. We want to be able to explain in an easier way how this ranking is based."

FIFA's rankings are based on an international side's results over the previous four years, with more points awarded from competitive matches than qualifiers.

They are weighted more strongly towards matches in the final stages of World Cups and continental tournaments.