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

Jan Lasek , Zoltán Szlávik , Marek Gągolewski , Sandjai Bhulai


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.

Author Jan Lasek - [Institute of Computer Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences]
Jan Lasek,,
, Zoltán Szlávik - [IBM, Netherlands]
Zoltán Szlávik,,
, Marek Gągolewski (FMIS / DIE)
Marek Gągolewski,,
- Department of Integral Equations
, Sandjai Bhulai - [Vrije University of Amsterdam]
Sandjai Bhulai,,
- Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Journal seriesJournal of Applied Statistics, ISSN 0266-4763
Issue year2016
ASJC Classification1804 Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty; 2613 Statistics and Probability
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)15
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 15.0, 26-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 15.0, 26-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus Citations = 3; WoS Citations = 1; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.765; WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 0.664 (2) - 2016=0.748 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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