Football fans in Nigeria were angry after the November FIFA Rankings was release on Thursday and the Super Eagles were placed 50 in the world despite a 4-2 win over Argentina..
Fans were hoping Nigeria will move up from it’s 45th position after the win, but their expectations were dashed when Nigeria rather dropped to 50th in the world.
But an explanation as to how the rankings was conducted by the World Soccer governing body was made available by Giovanni Marti of the FIFA Media Department back in 2013 when a similar situation occurred.
The explanation came after Kunle Solaja of Sportsvillagesquare.com. demanded to know why the Eagles dropped in the monthly ranking.
Marti providing two documents and giving a web link for further clarification.
He asserted that FIFA was not calculating the “results and rankings on a hypothetical basis.”
Giovanni explained that the ranking is not based solely on current results, but older results have impact on recent scores.
“It’s simply an accumulated depreciation over the past years…meaning that as some matches grew older, they are devalued according to a calculating scheme, backing up the claims with the scoresheet of Nigeria’s matches since 2010.
After his response, other FIFA staff members – Nicolas Maingot and Matthias Kunz also joined in providing documents to back up the ranking.
The first set of match log sent was questionable. Nigeria’s matches carried wrong dates and were three years older than scheduled.
For instance, Nigeria’s 1-0 defeat of Benin played on January 16, 2010 was captured as having been played on January 15, 2006. All matches of 2010 were captured as 2006 and a day earlier than actual.
Those of 2011 were similarly captured as those of 2007 and so on. Considering that age is an important factor on current ranking, it is envisaged that it could have had negative impact on Nigeria’s total point haul.
Match results are depreciated according to age. A team’s total number of points over a four-year period is determined by adding the average number of points gained from matches during the past 12 months; and the average number of points gained from matches older than 12 months depreciates yearly.
Matches played four years ago are discounted to have 20% value. Those older than four years have zero value as they are deleted. Match average from Year 3 have a 30% value while those of last year have 50% value and the ones of the current year carry full value of 100%.
It was explained that four years, covering one World Cup cycle, are taken into account in calculating the ranking.
When the issue of wrong dates were brought up, Giovanni Monday sent another e-mail with another log for Nigeria explaining that his colleagues from the Ranking unit gave him another version as in the earlier one, the dates slipped in the excel-list when programming.
“But now my colleagues remark that everything has been controlled and everything is correct. There are no effects on the current points that Nigeria have”.