How to improve a team's position in the FIFA ranking? - A simulation study

J. Lasek, Z. Szlavik, M. Gagolewski, S. Bhulai

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we study the efficacy of the official ranking for international football teams compiled by FIFA, the body governing football competition around the globe. We present strategies for improving a team's position in the ranking. By combining several statistical techniques, we derive an objective function in a decision problem of optimal scheduling of future matches. The presented results display how a team's position can be improved. Along the way, we compare the official procedure to the famous Elo rating system. Although it originates from chess, it has been successfully tailored to ranking football teams as well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1368
JournalJournal of Applied Statistics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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