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General World Cup 2014 Thread

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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Badger » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:18 pm

This is quite an interesting article from the BBC. It focuses mainly on England's mishandling of the FIFA coefficients and, thus, their World Cup seeding, but it also gives a great insignt into how the coefficients work.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25134584
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby AdepT » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:37 pm

Badger wrote:This is quite an interesting article from the BBC. It focuses mainly on England's mishandling of the FIFA coefficients and, thus, their World Cup seeding, but it also gives a great insignt into how the coefficients work.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25134584

I had read about the coefficients calculations when the South Africa vs Spain game was under scrutiny for being termed unofficial because Spain used 7 subs. The decision hasn't been published yet I guess , but if deemed unofficial South Africa wouldn't get the points after winning that friendly which would have improved their rankings drastically.

After reading this article, I think Del Bosque's action might have been deliberate.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MUTU » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:49 pm

So basically if you're losing a friendly, change loads of players in the last 5 minutes and you won't lose any coefficients. How ridiculous is this?

I consider myself an expert on the subjects having worked on a number of ranking systems (including football ones) and know the best algorithms and maths behind great rankings. The systems used by UEFA and FIFA are, from a mathematical aspect, beyond pathetic.

Arpad E. Elo made a ranking system for chess a long time ago and it's the system on which almost all ranking systems (FIFA and UEFA excluded) are based. There have been improvements since, especially to adapt to sports like football where a team doesn't just win, draw or lose but can win by a big margin (e.g. 5-0). I had made a ranking system which I since stopped updating but took all these factors into effect, including the home advantage based on statistical archived data.

But what is still being kept is a rudimentary, basic Elo system by these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Football_Elo_Ratings

As you can see, it's way better than the FIFA system but if I were to give them my algorithms it would be much better ;) When I'm not busy I will find a means to get historical data for old matches and release the ranking system online. It will be, without any shadow of doubt, the best ranking system for both national teams and club teams.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MoFattal » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:21 pm

Send them a proposal. Maybe you'll get a Fifa job :D
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MUTU » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:28 pm

MoFattal wrote:Send them a proposal. Maybe you'll get a Fifa job :D

FIFA don't want that.

The ranking system they had before wasn't good, but was still much better. They changed it with the sole intention of making it easier to explain it to people. They achieved that, but at the cost of having inaccurate rankings. Why can't people learn to trust the system?
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:35 pm

MoFattal wrote:Maybe you'll get a Fifa job :D


Then he will become rich and will sell this forum to a Qatari family. :oops:
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:46 pm

MUTU wrote:So basically if you're losing a friendly, change loads of players in the last 5 minutes and you won't lose any coefficients. How ridiculous is this?

I consider myself an expert on the subjects having worked on a number of ranking systems (including football ones) and know the best algorithms and maths behind great rankings. The systems used by UEFA and FIFA are, from a mathematical aspect, beyond pathetic.

Arpad E. Elo made a ranking system for chess a long time ago and it's the system on which almost all ranking systems (FIFA and UEFA excluded) are based. There have been improvements since, especially to adapt to sports like football where a team doesn't just win, draw or lose but can win by a big margin (e.g. 5-0). I had made a ranking system which I since stopped updating but took all these factors into effect, including the home advantage based on statistical archived data.

But what is still being kept is a rudimentary, basic Elo system by these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Football_Elo_Ratings

As you can see, it's way better than the FIFA system but if I were to give them my algorithms it would be much better ;) When I'm not busy I will find a means to get historical data for old matches and release the ranking system online. It will be, without any shadow of doubt, the best ranking system for both national teams and club teams.


I have seen several alternative ranking systems developed and they all seem to be more accurate than FIFA's. Some of FIFA's main flaws are related to too much weight to friendlies or games that shouldn't count (e.g. if a team secured qualification already the outcome of the remaining games should be heavily factored by a modifier) FIFA opposes to this because they want the qualified team to care about the ranking points and approach the game like a regular qualifier.

What bothers me the most is why using solely the FIFA ranking to seed World Cup Teams? In the past historical performance was the main factor, then it changed to recent performance in World Cups (50% performance in the last 3 WC’s/ 50% performance in the last WC) this criteria made more sense, then it was changed to 50% performance in the last WC and 50% FIFA ranking position. If this was still the case, Netherlands and Italy will be seeded ahead of Switzerland and Colombia which seems right to everyone.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:58 pm

Image

We could have a SUPER GROUP OF DEATH:
- BRAZIL (or Argentina)
- FRANCE
- USA
- ITALY (or NETHERLANDS)

and we can have a Group that looks like this:

- Switzerland
- Algeria
- Iran
- Bosnia- Herzegovina (or Croatia or Greece)

What a contrast! That's what FIFA's system can do for the game................
Last edited by Jorge on Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MUTU » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:28 pm

Jorge, and they are lucky it is hosted in Brazil. Imagine if it was Qatar instead of Switzerland...
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:19 pm

In a last minute change FIFA decided to move France from Pot 2 to Pot 4 (from the "leaked" setting that was circulating in the last few days and I posted above)

Now a Team from Pot 4 will be drawn randomly to Pot 2 at the start of the process:

Image
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:23 pm

Now the Group of Hell could look like this:

- BRAZIL (or Argentina)
- NETHERLANDS (or France or Italy)
- USA
- ITALY (or Netherlands or France)
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MUTU » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:07 pm

The group of hell according to the Elo rankings would be:

Brazil
Netherlands
USA
England

According to bookmaker odds they would be:

Brazil
Netherlands
Mexico
Italy
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby tflags » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:13 pm

Well obviously the bookmakers are either all Mexican or they haven't seen Mexico in the qualifiers.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby MUTU » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:32 pm

But then Mexico have a tradition of doing well in competitions. Take Italy as another example. They often struggle in qualifiers, sometimes needing a win on the last day, but then the competition comes along and they still do well (excluding 2010 of course). This psychology/mindset is not factored in ranking systems, but bookmakers do know about it. Take Germany vs Italy in Euro 2012 as an example. Ranking systems pointed to a clear victory by Germany. Bookmakers still favoured Germany but were a bit more conservative on the odds because they knew about the whole history thing.
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Re: General World Cup 2014 Thread

Postby Jorge » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:55 pm

I guess that is why the bookmakers place Italy ahead of England too (although in the rankings these two teams are placed differently, Italy higher in FIFA's, England higher in ELO). No doubt about how England underperforms on the big stage.

Although knowing the Mexican team situation in detail versus the good health of the USA under Klinsmann I doubt that this time the situation will reverse in 6 months, it will be almost a miracle. So, I still believe that the USA will be a bigger threat to some big names than Mexico in this World Cup.
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