FIFA massage England's ego

Bored with the reality of everyday life, FIFA have seemingly shrunk into the warm and cosy bosom of a dream like world where England are the considered to be the seventh best team in the land, according to their latest edition of the world rankings.

Not content with merely securing England’s undeserved position inside the top 10 of the world’s best teams, FIFA have felt it necessary to elevate Mr Capello and his golden generation up one place from eighth to seventh.

This decision is all the more confusing considering that just days earlier the same governing body placed England as the 13th best team at the World Cup.

Thankfully though FIFA have an answer for this that is no way overcomplicating what could be a very simple league table, the likes of which we are accustomed to in our domestic leagues.

The ranking is a reflection of a teams performance over the last four years, which is much to the benefit of England whose mammoth campaign of international friendlies has helped mask England’s poor showing at this World Cup and lack of interest in Euro 2008.

Other teams have not been quite so lucky, with the most obvious team of note being France, who slipped 12 places to 21st after failing to escape the group stages at the World Cup and European Championships.

It’s always a pleasure to witness the French in crisis as they do it with an air of amateur dramatics that makes it all the more compelling.

Their decline since their appearance in the final of the 2006 world cup is certainly deserved in terms of their recent performances, but does their position 13 places below England really reflect their slide?

Considering their performance over the past four years, which the FIFA rankings system does, France’s displays at major tournaments don’t seem to reflect their position in relation to the achievements and current ranking of England.

After all they were finalists in 2006 when we could only manage another quarter final exit, they qualified for the 2008 tournament when we decided a summer holiday was the better option and England only progressed one round further than France at the 2010 tournament.

What all we cynics haven’t taken into account though is the fantastically and perhaps even unnecessarily complicated mathematics that holds the rankings system together.

Coupled with FIFA’s insistence that the rankings reflect a teams performance over the past four years and not their current form or recent achievements and possibly with the aid of a few donations to Sepp Blatter’s favourite (ahem) charities, England seem destined to remain a force to be reckoned with on paper, if not in reality.

All together now “rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves…….”

Tags: FIFA, World Cup 2010

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