The latest batch of FIFA rankings were released today and if they are to be believed, Netherlands are now the best football team in the world and England are the fourth, even better than Brazil.
I’ve never had total confidence in these rankings (they almost make ICC’s rankings look like an exact science), but they have usually provided a general guideline to the order in which the world’s top teams have performed, but that surely can’t be the case any more.
I heard a story a few weeks back in which a boffin who understands how these things work apparently pointed out to FIFA that Faroe Islands ranking was wrong and that they were too low down the order.
On reviewing this FIFA agreed with the boffin and moved Faroe Islands up the ranking to a lofty position above Wales.
Now anyone who knows anything about football, in fact anyone who could write their footballing knowledge on the back of the theoretical stamp, knows that with all the best will in the world – and say what you want about how bad Wales are – that in no way are Faroes better than Wales.
At the moment the Welsh sit in 117th place and Faroes in 111th place.
Is anyone really going to tell me that Netherlands are better than the current World and European champions, Spain? And that there is currently only 3 teams in the world who are better than England?
Come on! There must be a 1 missing in there somewhere, 13 teams better than England would be more accurate.
I don’t want to be too critical of something I don’t really understand. But the point is that FIFA use these rankings for seeding at draws for World cups and other major championships.
There is obviously a system which has to be followed to produce this listing, and I’m not suggesting this system is not being followed correctly.
So I can only conclude that if it is being correctly followed, then surely the whole system is wrong.