FIFA yesterday released their updated world rankings and reminded the world of just how outrageously corrupt their list is.
Argentina remain top of the pack with Belgium trailing closely behind in second place, while current world champions Germany sit in third.
Columbia, Brazil and Portugal placed 4th, 5th and 6th respectively, whilst Romania and Chile occupy the following two.
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The most shocking inclusion of the list, however, is Wales, who have quite incredibly leapfrogged England - who sit in tenth - for the first time in their history, claiming ninth spot, owed in the main to their remarkable start to European qualifying, in which they currently sit atop of Group B of 17 points.
Something surely must be wrong, though? Wales have failed to participate in either of the last two major tournaments, thus not gaining any points there, so how have they managed to rank so highly? Well, FIFA uses a fairly simplistic formula to calculate this:
Points = Match Result x Match Importance x Strength of Opposing Team x Strength of Confederation
This formula rewards teams for winning or drawing games with zero points awarded for a loss. The higher a team is ranked, the more points a team earns for beating them. Winning or drawing games in major tournaments and through the tournament qualifying process yields large amounts of points and accounts greatly for a lot of teams moving up through the world rankings such as Wales and Romania.
The points are then averaged over a four-year term. The formula in theory works, although it does have some glaring omissions such as goals scored, host nations, continents, home advantage or even tournaments won.
Because of these omissions there are several teams who are ranked wrongly. Wales remain above teams like England, Spain, Italy, Holland and France despite having lost 37.93% of their games over the last four years and have scored an average of just 1.06 goals over the same period.
When compared directly with England who have only lost 15.21% of games over the same term and have an average goals per-game-ratio of 1.91, FIFA's formula starts to look rather flawed.
When you take into account that France have dropped to 24th in the world due to be exempt from the qualification process for Euro 2016, things start to become laughable - France, whilst having their struggles, are far from the 24th best team in the world.
With Sepp Blatter stepping down from his role as FIFA president shortly, lets hope his successor fixes the world rankings list along with everything else that is clearly corrupt at FIFA.
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