FIFA defends rankings

Any comments on the Roon Ba ranking can be left here
pieter
Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 16:49

09 Nov 2014, 18:33 #51

I do not need (FIFA-) rankings to expect this result; surely FIFA-rankings are nonsense....
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ctr
Joined: 16 Dec 2011, 13:04

09 Nov 2014, 23:29 #52

nfm24 wrote:
Would we be better off (compared to FIFA rankings) with just a basic ladder system, where teams swap rankings after playing each other?
Has this been done already?
  

Yes, it has
been done already. “Nasazzi’s baton” or UFWC are two
examples. Defeating no.1 then means that the winner is the new no.1 …
Example: after World Cup 2010 Spain
was #1




07/09/2010 Argentina 4-1
Spain (Argentina swapped the position with Spain …)
08/10/2010 Japan 1-0 Argentina
15/11/2011 North Korea 1-0 Japan
North Korea defended position number one against Kuwait 1-1, Tajikistan 1-1,
Philippines 2-0 etc. …
23/01/2013 Sweden 1-1 (4-1 pens)
North Korea

Compared with basic ladder systems FIFA rankings are excellent …
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

10 Nov 2014, 01:26 #53

I know about those, but that is looking only at No.1 position.   I was talking about a full ladder of all teams, operating under the same rules of position swapping.
Excerpt from UFWC website FAQ:  Who created the UFWC?The UFWC was created and is owned by freelance journalist and author Paul Brown. He wrote the original Unofficial Football World Champions article in FourFourTwo magazine in 2003,
Hmm...   so clearly Jostein Nygard must have travelled forward in time to steal Paul Brown's "idea", before posting it on RSSSF in 2002.  
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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

10 Nov 2014, 10:54 #54

nfm24 wrote:
Hmm...   so clearly Jostein Nygard must have travelled forward in time to steal Paul Brown's "idea", before posting it on RSSSF in 2002.  
It's unbelievable the lengths some people will go to. I wonder if Jostein still has his 'reverse time machine', or if he destroyed the evidence?
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

11 Nov 2014, 01:04 #55

Probably he pressed the wrong button and went to 2022 in Qatar.
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ctr
Joined: 16 Dec 2011, 13:04

12 Nov 2014, 01:49 #56

nfm24 wrote:
I know about those, but that is looking only at No.1 position.   I was talking about a full ladder of all teams, operating under the same rules of position swapping.
Excerpt from UFWC website FAQ:  Who created the UFWC?The UFWC was created and is owned by freelance journalist and author Paul Brown. He wrote the original Unofficial Football World Champions article in FourFourTwo magazine in 2003,
Hmm...   so clearly Jostein Nygard must have travelled forward in time to steal Paul Brown's "idea", before posting it on RSSSF in 2002.  
Of course,
I had realized that you’ve talked about a full ladder of all teams. My ‘real
life’ (not hypothetical) example shows, in which direction can (or 'will') lead
the application of a system working by swapping the positions. So – if North Korea was
in a ranking No.1 from Nov 2011 until Jan 2013,
then that tells us almost
everything about such a ranking system. Then we actually do not need consider other
possible oddities between No. 2 and No. 200.

On the other hand: I know in several clubs (individual sports. e.g. tennis or
table tennis) ladder systems were successfully used. Under certain conditions, they are highly effective. More important than
the ranking positions per se: they are supportive in the development and
enhancement of skills (for weaker players).

To utilize the advantages of a ladder system - but on the other hand to prevent
the aforementioned absurd consequences, the international football must be
organized completely differently. (At least in this very moment) I see no
meaningful approach or solution.

Thanks for your entertaining comments to Paul Brown and Jostein Nygard. By the
way, North Korea
was not the biggest “outlier” of UFWC. We learn: In March 1963, Netherlands Antilles were accordingly to UFWC No.1 (or
‘unofficial football world champion’). And if the Netherlands
Antilles were unofficial world champions, we may assume that Paul
Brown is a being with (at least) unofficially
brain. But – Paul Brown’s (official) brainpower does not manifest itself in UFWC
(as a system), but in his social psychological experiment ...

The resulting UFWC net community shows that the group behavior of humans is
very similar to the individual behavior of blowflies. UFCW is so important
(like manure for blowflies) … UFWC are dedicated Wikipedia articles in 15
languages. Who probably launched this?

We must recognize that the era of enlightenment seems to be over. People want
to have back their superstitions (Boom of the irrational!). And to whip up such
a general mood is currently simply a model of success - politically or economically.

And also the FIFA ranking is just a product of the present time – in many respects.

It is no surprise that Jostein Nygard
obviously used a time-machine. Considering his idea he posted in 2002 I would
think: Those who can develop such ideas must have tremendous skills which are
out of this world.  
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

13 Nov 2014, 00:40 #57

ctr wrote:
Of course,
I had realized that you’ve talked about a full ladder of all teams. My ‘real
life’ (not hypothetical) example shows, in which direction can (or 'will') lead
the application of a system working by swapping the positions. So – if North Korea was
in a ranking No.1 from Nov 2011 until Jan 2013, then that tells us almost
everything about such a ranking system. Then we actually do not need consider other
possible oddities between No. 2 and No. 200.
But number 1 is an irrelevance!  I am interested in the middle to lower end.
"Ladder
rankings" are not rankings in the sense of giving correctly all the
relative strengths of teams to each other, but are instead a way of
motivating the fixtures in themselves.   It provides an instantaneous
ordering, which oscillates (perhaps quite violently) about the "true"
ranking without converging.  Indeed it should not converge otherwise the
fixtures stagnate.  But one can then average positions over several
years to fudge a measure of typical ability.
Normally ladders are
used in situations where players/teams are expected to play only those
with a nearby ranking.  Minnows are not supposed to challenge the
best...
My point was to emphasize a major bug with any
ranking system for internationals : teams do not play frequently enough
against a wide enough range of opponents to statistically overrule the
fluctuations in time of their own actual instantaneous ability. 
Rankings are never a reflection of
current ability, but of recent activity.  The
points of measurement (matches) are not sufficiently highly resolved to
detect the variations.   But ladders, by contrast, detect every variation, albeit in an exaggerated way.
Also one significant
advantage that a ladder system has over FIFA is that it properly
penalizes a "good" team for losing to a "bad" team.
ctr wrote:
It is no surprise that Jostein Nygard
obviously used a time-machine. Considering his idea he posted in 2002 I would
think: Those who can develop such ideas must have tremendous skills which are
out of this world.  
I'm sure the idea is far
older than 2002.  But I don't recall it being published online before
that.   And the raw data was much harder to find online at that time...
Anyway,
it seems common practice now that people will not cite sources properly
when they write these gimmicky books.  They like to pretend it was
original.
Last edited by nfm24 on 13 Nov 2014, 00:47, edited 2 times in total.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

14 Nov 2014, 02:32 #58

Also any ranking system should not itself influence match results. Whereas some countries are exploiting the FIFA ranking method to discount matches they don't want, or to choose opponents to their advantage. Essentially, to choose which matches to consider important. This kind of phenomenon clearly contradicts the principle.
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Luca
Joined: 09 Feb 2011, 19:58

14 Nov 2014, 10:28 #59

I was wondering... How do the ranking systems count the Afro-Asian Cup of Nations and the AFC-OFC Challenge Cup matches? FIFA classifies them as friendlies, but they were official competitions organized by continental confederations. Shouldn't they be counted as continental matches?
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

16 Nov 2014, 21:57 #60

They can't be continental matches if they involve more than one continent. FIFA made some lazy categories, so anything that isn't X or Y will be called Z, even if it is none of XYZ.
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Luca
Joined: 09 Feb 2011, 19:58

17 Nov 2014, 20:32 #61

But then they cannot be classified as friendlies either. The same applies to the CCCF and NAFC championships as well. FIFA counts them as friendlies, but they were proper continental tournaments.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

17 Nov 2014, 22:11 #62

Different ranking systems might rate tournaments with different importances - indeed in my view even that is too simple, and always the context of the match should be considered. A World Cup final or semi-final is much more important than a game like Spain vs Australia last time when both were already eliminated. The latter was not much higher than a friendly.
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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

19 Nov 2014, 21:13 #63

Luca wrote:
But then they cannot be classified as friendlies either. The same applies to the CCCF and NAFC championships as well. FIFA counts them as friendlies, but they were proper continental tournaments.
FIFA is inconsistent in almost everything it does.  It is almost a waste of time to try to help them by pointing out errors.
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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

19 Nov 2014, 21:18 #64

nfm24 wrote:
Different ranking systems might rate tournaments with different importances - indeed in my view even that is too simple, and always the context of the match should be considered. A World Cup final or semi-final is much more important than a game like Spain vs Australia last time when both were already eliminated. The latter was not much higher than a friendly.
I think giving different importance to matches within the same tournament could be problematic.  Maybe it should only happen in situations like you mention, when both teams are already eliminated.  These matches could be relegated to "friendly" status  (for rankings purposes), but then again, both teams might be trying just as hard in order that they don't go home without a win.  We have to introduce a lot more subjective issues like "how hard teams are trying", and even "how good the players are that were selected".  For simplicity, I think it's advisable just to classify 2 types of match - competitive (those played as part of an official world, continental or regional tournament and the qualifications matches therefor), and non-competitive (friendly matches, friendly tournaments).  Individually anomalous cases such as the Merdeka Tournament can be considered competitive rather than non-competitive if desired.
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Kaizeler
Joined: 05 Apr 2012, 14:54

19 Nov 2014, 21:59 #65

TheRoonBa wrote:
We have to introduce a lot more subjective issues like "how hard teams are trying"
And consequently award both the Ivory Coast and Cameroon nul points following today's match passing drill: 
Last edited by Kaizeler on 19 Nov 2014, 22:01, edited 1 time in total.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

20 Nov 2014, 00:19 #66

Yes throw them both out and let Morocco back in along with DRC.

Seems that was based on the tiebreaker of away goals in head-to-head, DRC would advance if Ivory Coast lost 1-0. I would punish Cameroon more for not trying to tackle the Ivorians.
Probably an ineligible player will be found somewhere to confuse things further. Interesting that Nigeria has failed to qualify.
Edit: I know that DRC has qualified anyhow as best 3rd place, but that was not certain at the end of the Ivory Coast match as other matches were still playing  (I think?)
Last edited by nfm24 on 20 Nov 2014, 00:58, edited 1 time in total.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

20 Nov 2014, 00:33 #67

It depends if the "match importance" is supposed to be accurate to give a realistic weighting to the match and hence interpret the outcome correctly for the ranking.  If the aim is to rank teams as accurately as possible then some element of subjectivity has to come into it eventually.  This will annoy ranking purists no doubt, but it is clear that it is always possible to "improve" any objective system by making a subjective decision on anomalous cases. 
Anyway, it's arguably not subjective to say that a match between eliminated teams is not really part of the competition any more per se, and hence downgrade it.  Unless you award some kind of kudos for finishing 3rd in groups.  If one team is eliminated and the other is already guaranteed progression (and/or first place), that match could be equally less important.  Likewise if both teams have already progressed.
Whereas stuff like "did they use a B team" is clearly subjective.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

20 Nov 2014, 17:03 #68

On another note, has anybody every tried to make a combined ranking of both men and women's teams?
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pieter
Joined: 03 Nov 2006, 16:49

20 Nov 2014, 17:22 #69

it could make sense to make a ranking based on youth teams , Olympic teams, B-teams and A-teams...
sorry, i forgot I am against ranking national teams
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

20 Nov 2014, 17:55 #70

I was thinking about ways that the inequality between men's and women's football could be addressed.   I.e. to make women's football more important for FAs and fans in general.   To me it seems at the moment that women's football is widely considered
just an afterthought, or something like youth matches which are not too
important compared to senior men's. 
FIFA already has a spending percentage allocation for each FA towards women's football.  I suggested before that the male and female World Cups should be hosted simultaneously in the same location. 
Supposing that men and women's matches counted equally for the unisex ranking points, would this make certain countries put more effort to develop women's football?Note that FIFA uses different ranking systems for the two genders.
Currently women's teams play more international matches (major countries at least) than men, presumably because club football is less "important", so this would have to be addressed.   Perhaps things could be made completely symmetric so that every men's tournament has a mirror women's tournament happening concurrently, with the same groups and same fixtures.
Another way to make the two equally important would be to incorporate results of both genders into the same competition.  Either by  cumulative points (men + women) or by taking the best of both  (max(men,women)).  
For example, in the last (men's) World Cup we had Group H 1.Belgium 3 3 0 0 4- 1 9
2.Algeria 3 1 1 1 6- 5 4
3.Russia 3 0 2 1 2- 3 2
4.South Korea 3 0 1 2 3- 6 1If women's teams had the same fixtures, let us suppose the outcome was: 1.South Korea 3 2 1 0 - 7 2.Russia 3 1 2 0 - 5
3.Belgium 3 1 1 1 - 4
4.Algeria 3 0 0 3 - 0
Then you could have, overall (cumulative): 1.BELGIUM 6 4 1 1 - 13 2.SOUTH KOREA 6 2 2 2 - 8
3.Russia 6 1 4 1 - 7
4.Algeria 6 1 1 4 - 4
or (best result of both) 1.BELGIUM 9 2.SOUTH KOREA 7
3.Russia 5
4.Algeria 4
So then Belgium and South Korea would advance to the second round in both the men and women's tournaments. Russia and Algeria eliminated from both.
Last edited by nfm24 on 20 Nov 2014, 18:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Kaizeler
Joined: 05 Apr 2012, 14:54

20 Nov 2014, 18:31 #71

Especially "punished" by such a unisex ranking would be many of the South American and Gulf/Middle Eastern countries, while Far Eastern nations would gain a lot of ground.

I've aggregated my latest men's and women's rankings (they're on the same scale, unlike their FIFA counterparts), and a Top 20 would look like this:
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

21 Nov 2014, 16:48 #72

Thanks. The highest in either to drop out of the combined top 20 is #7 and #9 of both genders.

Could you also do a continental top 10, if it is quick.

Aggregating the ranking points from two separate gender rankings (as you have there) would presumably give a different outcome to having a single ranking with both gender's matches counting equally. is there a quick way, in your data, to output the latter? Obviously that would no longer be an accurate ranking when comparing just men's teams to each other, nor women's.

Can you also put a table of the countries with the biggest differential men to women? We can guess most of these as you said before.
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Kaizeler
Joined: 05 Apr 2012, 14:54

21 Nov 2014, 23:33 #73

The ranking system I use is Elo-like in nature and therefore not particularly suitable to have matches of both genders combined, as it attempts to measure 'current strength' more than 'compounded (recent) achievement' (to which your idea of a cumulative World Cup is closer).

While in theory I could calculate 'combined' ratings with my current model, they would at this stage be a (unequally) weighted average of the male and female points totals columns, given the number (and recency) of games played by each side. More significantly, it would create an incentive for FAs to stop fielding the gender in which they are (relatively) weaker, so as to stop them losing points and bringing the combined rating down.

Still, using the two-ranking aggregate I could derive continental subrankings and largest men - women differentials (do note that men's positions are out of 223, while women's positions are out of 190). Indeed, full tables are available here for any further anlyses.
Last edited by Kaizeler on 21 Nov 2014, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

22 Nov 2014, 01:09 #74

Yes I did realise that an Elo ranking would be rather inappropriate to calculate the hybrid ranking I suggested because the "actual current strength" of a country is now multivalued (one for each gender), and so, without totally symmetric fixtures, the ranking of the country will oscillate wildly depending on which gender played last. But the suggestion was based on drastic bloody-mindedness, something which I and FIFA share ;-)

As the idea was to promote inequality, there would be restrictions imposed to ensure a reasonable number of fixtures for each gender, or the complete symmetry I suggested in fixtures. In that sense every "ranking match" becomes two legs, male and female.

Interesting that West Asians have the largest male bias, East Asians female. Not clear to my why the latter should be the case (the former is obvious). I suppose it may be an economic effect. Though that is the discussion on another topic...

I find it quite amusing that FIFA uses such different systems for men and women.
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Luca
Joined: 09 Feb 2011, 19:58

22 Nov 2014, 10:21 #75

TheRoonBa wrote:
For simplicity, I think it's advisable just to classify 2 types of match - competitive (those played as part of an official world, continental or regional tournament and the qualifications matches therefor), and non-competitive (friendly matches, friendly tournaments).  Individually anomalous cases such as the Merdeka Tournament can be considered competitive rather than non-competitive if desired.

This is surely a good solution. But note that the term "competitive" sometimes is subject to interpretations. There are a lot of tournaments whose status is quite difficult to classify.For example, the 1980 Mundialito. Although it was never recognised as a FIFA competition, it was everything but a friendly tournament.Or consider the Olympic, the Asian and the Caribbean Games, which saw the presence both of "A" teams and of restrictive teams.
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mattsanger92
Joined: 04 Jul 2011, 10:46

14 Sep 2017, 18:04 #76

The Pots for the World Cup Draw will now all be decided on the World Rankings (October's edition), rather than just Pot 1.

Although the continent limitation rules will remain, meaning the draw could be zig-zagging a bit near the end, but it should at least open up to a little more variation than usual...
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

14 Sep 2017, 21:56 #77

I think the draw should be conducted in Mark's kitchen, using 8 pots made from 4 empty beer cans cut in half, and a packet of 32 custard creams with flags drawn on them in crayon.   With Sepp Blatter.
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mattsanger92
Joined: 04 Jul 2011, 10:46

14 Sep 2017, 22:10 #78

It all depends if his chemistry with Sepp is as good as Robin Williams'...

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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

16 Sep 2017, 16:09 #79

nfm24 wrote: I think the draw should be conducted in Mark's kitchen, using 8 pots made from 4 empty beer cans cut in half, and a packet of 32 custard creams with flags drawn on them in crayon.   With Sepp Blatter.
Looking forward to it!

Meanwhile, FIFA has announced (in all seriousness) that they will review the ranking system after the last 2018 World Cup qualifiers have been held.  About time!  Still, "review" doesn't necessarily mean "change"...  They may review them and come to the conclusion that they are perfect...
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

17 Sep 2017, 19:09 #80

TheRoonBa wrote:Looking forward to it!
While I have every confidence in your ability to provide the 4 empty beer cans, I fear that you may not be able to resist the temptation to eat some of the custard creams before Sepp visits.
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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

18 Sep 2017, 01:15 #81

nfm24 wrote:
TheRoonBa wrote:Looking forward to it!
While I have every confidence in your ability to provide the 4 empty beer cans, I fear that you may not be able to resist the temptation to eat some of the custard creams before Sepp visits.
My biggest worry is finding a pack of custard creams that has as many as 32 biscuits in it.  In these times of austerity, even 24 would be a surprise.
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mattsanger92
Joined: 04 Jul 2011, 10:46

18 Sep 2017, 17:34 #82

TheRoonBa wrote:
nfm24 wrote:
TheRoonBa wrote:Looking forward to it!
While I have every confidence in your ability to provide the 4 empty beer cans, I fear that you may not be able to resist the temptation to eat some of the custard creams before Sepp visits.
My biggest worry is finding a pack of custard creams that has as many as 32 biscuits in it.  In these times of austerity, even 24 would be a surprise.
I've seen the massive two-wide ones in Tesco, I never counted but there must be enough in there, surely, or is this a 'price of a Freddo' situation?

If not, just get a few of the cheap packs from Aldi or something. You'd even have some left over for your houseguest, although he's looking a bit more health-conscious these days...
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

18 Sep 2017, 20:46 #83

I can't believe, after all the advance warning I've given you both about the Enlightenment, you haven't been stockpiling biscuits.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

18 Sep 2017, 20:47 #84

I suppose you could eat the custard cream with Russia's flag on it, since we already know where it will end up in the draw.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

28 Nov 2017, 19:23 #85

TheRoonBa wrote:
nfm24 wrote: I think the draw should be conducted in Mark's kitchen, using 8 pots made from 4 empty beer cans cut in half, and a packet of 32 custard creams with flags drawn on them in crayon.   With Sepp Blatter.
Looking forward to it!
It's time for Mark to provide us with a promotional video run-through.
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mattsanger92
Joined: 04 Jul 2011, 10:46

28 Nov 2017, 19:43 #86

I'm presuming a ceremonial emptying of the beer cans (remember that it has to be Budweiser) is part of the process... which would leave us with a drunk Scotsman doing a cup draw, what could possibly go wrong:

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Luca
Joined: 09 Feb 2011, 19:58

28 Nov 2017, 19:46 #87

mattsanger92 wrote: a drunk Scotsman doing a cup draw,
Is it Denis Law or Rod Stewart?
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TheRoonBa
Joined: 31 Oct 2006, 22:16

28 Nov 2017, 22:13 #88

It's Rod Stewart, who has a Scottish dad, but is English.

The only Scottish guy in the video (in the middle) mispronounced the name of the first team (Hamilton Academicals) - there is no "s" - it is Academical.  Shame on him.

The other English guy (Alan Stubbs) also got confused at the end by the marking on the ball designed to eliminate confusion between 6 and 9, and thought the underlining of the 9 was an overlining of a 6.

All in all, a terrible video, with terrible antics from all 3 participants.  Boo.
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nfm24
Joined: 07 Apr 2007, 16:28

29 Nov 2017, 10:13 #89

TheRoonBa wrote:The other English guy (Alan Stubbs) also got confused at the end by the marking on the ball designed to eliminate confusion
This explains a lot of Celtic's awful defending in Europe, where the balls have different markings than the SPL.

Everyone in the video is drunk.  Even at the end he wasn't sure what year it was.

I am certain that Mark could do a better job with £5 funding.
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