Wednesday, June 29, 2011

FIFA rankings: June - Paint by numbers

Formula for the formulaic article to accompany the monthly release of FIFA's rankings of men's national teams:
  1. Begin by stating that the #1 team is still #1 (Spain)
  2. Talk about any movement significant within the top 10. (Mexico with a big jump, England up to #4?!)
  3. Briefly mention Canada's placing after their most recent drop (down to 83).
  4. Never fail to state which two afterthought countries between which Canada is currently sandwiched (Hello, Latvia and Jordan).
  5. If you're lucky, you'll get the only bit of info that occasionally matters, which is Canada's ranking among CONCACAF teams (no such luck this time, but we're 8th).
Canada's slide results from failing to defend ranking points from previous Gold Cups that have recently been devalued (2009) or gone off the books entirely (2007). Canada's only win in the tournament, against Guadeloupe, does not factor into the calculations since Guadeloupe is not a FIFA nation. Which makes it all the more ludicrous that they're allowed to compete, but you know...

Unless something changes Canada's slide, though regrettable, won't matter for the upcoming qualifying campaign. By all reports, the seedings for the WCQ 2014 have already been set.

Still, when you have England climbing to #4, people are starting to catch on that these rankings aren't worth the bits and bytes they occupy in the ether. So says no less of an authority than the Guardian.

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