**F**irst published in August 1993 by FIFA and The Coca-Cola Company, the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has since provided a monthly status list of all active senior national teams throughout the world. Currently, the ranking includes some 180 teams (191 national associations are affiliated to FIFA).

The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking evaluates all matches played by senior national teams, i.e. it covers neither youth nor women's nor any other national representative selections. Thus, the ranking is based upon the results of

- World Cup finals matches
- World Cup preliminary matches
- continental championship final matches
- continental championship preliminary matches
- friendly matches.

The initial status of the teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was based upon the results achieved between 1985 and 1992.

The calculation of a team's points from a certain match is based on the following five criteria (for details see *Basic Considerations*):

- winning, drawing and losing
- number of goals
- home or away match
- importance of the match (multiplication factor)
- regional strength (multiplication factor).

**BASIC CONSIDERATIONS**

Normally, if a strong team plays repeatedly against obviously weaker teams, the stronger will continually win and the weaker continually lose. The former would stay at the top of the Ranking, the latter at the bottom. But this would not be a true reflection of these teams' real ability or progress.

Therefore, it was considered essential to assess the various criteria involved in the pairing of two teams and the outcome of the match between the two teams.

**I. WINNING, DRAWING OR LOSING**-
Winning is naturally rewarded more than losing. But simply to award 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and none for a defeat would not have served the purpose of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. A net total of two points is awarded per match. These are divided according to the relative strength of the teams involved in the match.
For example, in matches between teams of different strenghts, points could be awarded as in the following table (team A is the strongest, team D is the weakest):

**A v. D (large difference in teams' strengths):**

if A wins then A:+1.00 and D:+1.00

if Draw then A:0 and D:+2.00

if D wins then A:-1.00 and D:+3.00**B v. C (little difference in teams' strengths):**

if B wins then B:+1.90 and C:+0.10

if Draw then B:+0.90 and C:+1.10

if C wins then B:-0.10 and C:+2.10**A1 v. A2 (teams of equal strength):**

if A1 wins then A1:+2.00 and A2:0

if Draw then A1:+1.00 and A2:+1.00. **II. NUMBER OF GOALS**- Just as points are divided according to the difference in strength of the two teams involved, so the number of goals scored and the goal difference is also taken into account. A goal scored by a weak team against a stronger team is rewarded more than a goal by a strong team against a weak one. However, goals are not evaluated to the point where a large number of goals is rewarded by more points than for winning or losing.
**III. HOME OR AWAY MATCH**- A bonus of +0.3 points is awarded to the away team, but teams winning a match on neutral ground receive no bonus points.
**IV. IMPORTANCE OF THE MATCH**-
Bonus considerations were also introduced as a multiplying factor according to the nature of the match:

* friendly match x 1.00 * continental championship preliminary match x 1.10 * continental championship finals match x 1.25 * World Cup preliminary match x 1.25 * World Cup finals match x 1.50

**V. REGIONAL STRENGTH**-
In order to reflect the respective footballing strengths of the various regions of the world, the FIFA confederations are regularly objectively evaluated. These assessments are determined according to past performances of teams from the respective continents in intercontinental matches and are, for 1997, as follows:

* Europe x 1.00 * CONMEBOL x 1.00 * Africa x 0.95 * CONCACAF x 0.90 * Asia x 0.90 * Oceania x 0.85

This criterion is only applied to matches between two teams from the same continent. Matches between teams from different continents, and also World Cup finals matches, are given the regional strength factor 1.00. The assessments are mathematically updated on an annual basis.

**SUMMARY**

The points recorded in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking are the sum total of the five criteria mentioned above (a to e). If the sum total for a team (for a given match or in the overall standings) is negative, then this negative points total is recorded as 0.00.

**FURTHER EVALUATION CRITERIA**

For complete objectivity, two other vital criteria must also be applied when calculating the overall ranking over a given period of time:

- the number of matches in that period,
- the evaluation of past matches before that period

**NUMBER OF MATCHES**

A special key has been formulated to evaluate the results achieved in the ranking period. This is based upon a combination of

- the total of the best eight results in the period

- the total of the results of all matches in the period.

Thus, in the case of a team playing 12 matches in the ranking period, the calculation is as follows:

- The total score for these eight matches is calculated (X).
- The total score for all 12 matches is calculated
- This total is divided by 12 and multiplied by eight (Y).
- The total for the eight best results is added to the eight "average" results (X+Y)
- This total (X+Y) is divided by two for the final score.

In the case of teams which play fewer than eight matches in the period, only the actual results of the matches played are evaluated.

**PAST RESULTS**

To ensure that the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking always reflects the current status, FIFA evaluates primarily matches played in the 12 months prior to the date on which it is issued.Performance over the previous years is also taken into account, however. Basically, the score obtained from the current 12 months is added to that of the immediately foregoing five years with each previous year being devalued continually.

Thus, at the end of a given year, the calculation is based upon the following components:

Last 12 months (e.g. 1997) : 6/6 value

+ previous year (1996) : 5/6 value

+ previous year (1995) : 4/6 value

+ previous year (1994) : 3/6 value

+ previous year (1993) : 2/6 value

+ previous year (1992) : 1/6 valueIn this way, all older results are gradually eliminated from the calculation. Newly emerging associations are evaluated on the value of the results achieved so far.

**AWARDS**The team topping the final ranking list of the year is designated

**TOP TEAM OF THE YEAR**.The designation

**BEST MOVER OF THE YEAR**is awarded by multiplying of points attained at the end of a given year (e.g. 1997) by the net number of points gained since the end of the previous year (in this case 1996).

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