France's Hugo Lloris holds the World Cup trophy as he arrives in Paris (Courtesy: Reuters)

France On Top As New Ranking Formula Introduced

France have climbed to the summit of a much-changed FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in the first edition of the global ladder since a new ranking formula took effect and Les Bleus became world champions.

The formula, which was approved by the FIFA Council in June after a lengthy period of testing, relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the Ranking. The changes, of which there are several, include the fact that inactive teams now preserve their point totals, with no devaluation of older games. Points are dropped, however, from losing or drawing against weaker opposition, with the only exception to this rule matches in knockout rounds of major competitions such as the FIFA World Cup.
The most important thing about the new method is, of course, the table it yields, and in that respect August’s Ranking makes for spectacular reading. France (1st, up 6) provide the headline news, as they have reclaimed pole position for the first time in over 16 years, returning to a spot they last held in May 2002. Just three points, however, separate Les Bleus from Russia 2018 semi-finalists Belgium (2nd, up 1), while World Cup runners-up Croatia (4th, up 16) have equalled their record Ranking position, last reached in June 2013. Other big movers include Uruguay (5th, up 9), England (6th, up 6), Sweden (13th, up 11), and World Cup hosts Russia (49th, up 21).

Naturally, there are losses as well as gains, with previous leaders Germany (15th, down 14) among several sides to suffer for group-stage elimination in Russia. Poland (18th, down 10), Peru (20th, down 9) and Costa Rica and Iceland (joint-32nd, down 9 and 10 respectively) also slipped down the table on the back of disappointing World Cup campaigns.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 20 September 2018.

Leader
France (up 6)

Moves into top 10
Croatia (4th, up 16)
Uruguay (5th, up 9)
England (6th, up 6)
Denmark (9th, up 3)

Moves out of top 10
Argentina (11th, down 6)
Chile (12th, down 3)
Germany (15th, down 14)
Poland (18th, down 10)

Matches played in total
116

Most matches played
Belgium (9 matches)

Biggest move by points
France (up 150 points)

Biggest move by ranks
Russia (up 21 places)

Biggest drop by points
Egypt (down 77 points)

Biggest drop by ranks
Egypt (down 20 places)
(fifa.com)

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