FIFA Women's World Rankings

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Top 30 Rankings as of 19 December 2014[1]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Increase 1  Germany 2176
2 Decrease 1  United States 2158
3 Increase 1  France 2091
4 Decrease 1  Japan 2084
5 Steady  Sweden 2000
6 Increase 1  England 1984
7 Increase 4  North Korea 1981
8 Decrease 2  Brazil 1968
9 Decrease 1  Canada 1962
10 Steady  Australia 1957
11 Increase 4  Netherlands 1933
12 Decrease 3  Norway 1928
13 Increase 1  China PR 1880
14 Decrease 1  Italy 1879
15 Increase 1  Spain 1875
16 Decrease 4  Denmark 1855
17 Steady  South Korea 1836
18 Increase 1  New Zealand 1827
19 Decrease 1  Switzerland 1826
20 Steady  Iceland 1818
Steady  Scotland 1783
Increase 1  Russia 1783
23 Steady  Finland 1778
24 Steady  Ukraine 1772
25 Steady  Mexico 1737
26 Increase 1  Belgium 1710
27 Decrease 1  Austria 1702
28 Increase 3  Colombia 1691
29 Steady  Republic of Ireland 1666
30 Decrease 2  Czech Republic 1657
Complete rankings at

The FIFA Women's World Rankings for football were introduced in 2003,[2] with the first rankings published in March of that year, as a follow-on to the existing FIFA World Rankings for men. They attempt to compare the strength of internationally active women's national teams at any given time.

Specifics of the ranking system[edit]

  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on every international match a team ever played, dating back to 1971, the first FIFA-recognized women's international between France and the Netherlands. (The men's ranking system considers only matches in the last four years.)
  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are implicitly weighted to emphasize recent results. (The men's results are explicitly weighted on a sliding scale.)
  • FIFA Women's World Rankings are only published four times a year. Normally, rankings are released in March, June, September and December. (In World Cup years, dates may be adjusted to reflect the World Cup results.)

The first two points result in a FIFA Women's World Rankings system which is far more similar to the Elo football rating system; ratings for teams with fewer than 30 matches should be considered provisional.


FIFA Women's
World Ranking leaders

Germany women's national football team United States women's national soccer team Germany women's national football team United States women's national soccer team Germany women's national football team United States women's national soccer team Germany women's national football team Germany women's national football team United States women's national soccer team United States women's national soccer team

To date Germany and the USA have been the only two teams to have led the rankings. Between them, they held the top two spots from the third set of rankings in October 2003, immediately after the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, through the December 2008 rankings. Germany was third behind Norway in the first two rankings, and dropped out of the top two in March 2009, replaced by Brazil, though their successful 2009 Euro title defense pushed them back into the top two for the September 2009 ranking, where they have remained.

The latest version of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, released in December 2014, saw Germany overtake the USA for first place, returning to the top spot for the first time since 2008. France and Japan swapped third and fourth, with France reaching its highest ranking ever. North Korea reentered the top 10 at 7th, displacing Norway. In addition to France, four other teams reached their highest position ever in the rankings—the Netherlands (11th), Costa Rica (37th), Ecuador (43rd), and Paraguay (50th),[3] with Paraguay doing so for the second consecutive ranking.[4]

Ranking procedure[edit]

The rankings are based on the following formulae:[5]

R_{aft} = R_{bef} + K (S_{act} - S_{exp})
S_{exp} =  \frac{1}{1 + 10^{-x/2}}
x = \frac{R_{bef} - O_{bef} \pm H}{c}


R_{aft} = The team rating after the match
R_{bef} = The team rating before the match
K = 15 M, the weighted importance of the match
S_{act} = The actual result of the match, see below
S_{exp} = The expected result of the match
x = The scaled difference in rating points between the teams
O_{bef} = The opposing team's rating before the match
H = The "home advantage" correction, see below
c = A scaling factor, see below
M = The "Match Importance Factor", see below

These formulae are designed such that beginning teams can expect a ranking of roughly 1000 points, while top-level teams can exceed 2000 points. In order to be ranked, a team must have played at least 5 matches against officially ranked teams, and have not been inactive for more than 18 months. Even if teams are not officially ranked, their points rating is kept constant.

Actual result of the match[edit]

The main component of the actual result is whether the team wins, loses, or draws, but goal difference is also taken into account.

If the match results in a winner and loser, the loser is awarded a certain percentage (always less than or equal to 20%) of the result based on the goal difference and the number of goals they scored, with the remaining percentage points being awarded to the winner. For example, a 2-1 match has the result awarded 84%-16% respectively, a 4-3 match has the result awarded 82%-18%, and an 8-3 match has the result awarded 96.2%-3.8%. As such, it is possible for a team to lose points even if they win a match, assuming they did not "win by enough".

If the match ends in a draw, both teams are awarded the same results which depends on the total number of goals scored, so the result will not necessarily add up to 100%. For example, a 0-0 draws earns both teams 47% each, a 1-1 draw earns 50% each, and a 4-4 draw earns 52.5% each.[6]

Neutral ground or Home vs. Away[edit]

Historically, home teams earn 66% of the points available to them, with away teams earning the other 34%. To account for this, when two teams are not playing on neutral ground, the home team has its R_{bef} inflated by 100 points for the purposes of calculation. That is, if two equally ranked teams playing at one team's home ground, the home team would be expected to win at the same rate a team playing on neutral ground with a 100 point advantage. This 100 point difference corresponds to a 64%-36% advantage in terms of expected result.

This also helps define the scaling constant c, which has a value of 200. In addition to a 100-point difference causing an expected result difference of 64%-36%, it also results in a 300-point difference causing expected results of 85%-15%.[7]

Importance of the match[edit]

Match importance Match importance
factor (M)
FIFA Women's World Cup match 4 60
Women's Olympic football tournament 4 60
FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier 3 45
Women's Olympic football qualifier 3 45
Women's Continental finals match 3 45
Women's Continental qualifier 2 30
Women's friendly match between two Top 10 teams 2 30
Women's friendly match 1 15

Ranking schedule[edit]

Rankings are published four times a year, usually on a Friday.[8]

2015 Rankings schedule
Release date
27 March
10 July
25 September
18 December

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "The FIFA Women's World Rankings". FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). 28 March 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Germany oust USA at summit, France go third" (Press release). FIFA. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Germany and France catching up" (Press release). FIFA. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Women's World Ranking Schedule". FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

External links[edit]