5 Reasons Why FIFA Rankings Are a JokeJuly 12, 2013
5 Reasons Why FIFA Rankings Are a Joke
Am I the only person who grits his teeth whenever I hear the FIFA rankings mentioned? The FIFA rankings might be the most annoying recent development in international soccer.
I am sure the soccer world greets the new rankings with a collective eye roll as it sees how FIFA has ranked some minnows ahead of traditional power houses.
Here are five reasons why the FIFA rankings are a joke.
The Rankings Are an Americanism
Over the years soccer has tried to incorporate elements of American sports into the game. Some of these elements, such as names on jerseys and assists, have been good for the game, but I can't say that the same about the FIFA rankings.
This was a bad idea copied from American sports. The American football college rankings is pretty controversial anyway. Many critics have called for a playoff game to decide the national champions and not just rankings.
International Soccer Is About Trophies
International soccer is all about trophies. Fans, sports writers, players and coaches care about who won the last major trophy, not where you ranked on a list.
Only the Sports Media Cares
Does anyone else care about the FIFA rankings other than the sports media? I think the rankings were created just to give the soccer media something else to talk about.
For example now they can refer to Spain as not just the world and European champions, but also the no. 1 ranked team.
Apart from sports journalists, can you think of anyone else who remotely cares about the rankings. I can't see fans saying, "Hey we got a game against no. 8 ranked Portugal ."
International soccer fans know Portugal is a decent side, but they have never won a major trophy.
The Rankings Are Meaningless
Finally does anyone really understand how the rankings are determined? There seems to be some arcane points system where points are awarded based on FIFA games played. But in the end, it produces some head-scratching results.
Why are Croatia and Portugal ranked ahead of powerhouse Brazil, who recently lifted the Confederations Cup? And is Bosnia-Herzegovina, ranked at no. 14, really better than England ranked at 15? The soccer world and I would surely disagree.