Matildas dudded by 'ridiculous' rankings twist after historic World Cup performance

Aussie football fans are fuming after the Matildas were bumped down from 10th to 11th in the FIFA world rankings.

Sam Kerr and the Matildas, pictured here at the Women's World Cup.
Sam Kerr and the Matildas have gone down one spot in the FIFA world rankings despite finishing fourth at the Women's World Cup. Image: Getty

Aussie football fans are questioning the legitimacy of the FIFA rankings after the Matildas fell one place from 10th to 11th despite making the semi-finals of the World Cup. Ranked 10th in the world coming into the tournament, the Matildas outplayed their ranking and ended up finishing fourth.

But when FIFA released its updated rankings on Friday night, the Matildas had been dumped down one spot to 11th. Fans were left crying foul considering the Aussies made it all the way to the semi-finals, with the FIFA rankings raising eyebrows not for the first time.

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The FIFA rankings are calculated using a variety of criteria, including results, venue, the importance of the match and the difference in world ranking between the competing teams. Because the Matildas lost to Nigeria (ranked 40th at the time) in the group stage, they suffered a heavy rankings hit.

The fact that the World Cup was played in Australia also worked against the Matildas because they technically played all their games at 'home'. Because they suffered three losses (against Nigeria, England and Sweden) on home soil, they also took a big hit in the rankings despite beating Ireland, Canada, Denmark and France.

Even more ridiculous is the fact the Matildas' win against France in a penalty shootout is actually recognised as a draw by the rankings system because it finished 0-0 in regulation time. The rankings also don't place any extra importance on matches played in the knockout stages compared to pool play.

Matildas fans left fuming over 'ridiculous' FIFA rankings

Nevertheless, the rankings have still raised many an eyebrow and angered Matildas fans. The Aussies are the only team inside the top-10 before the tournament to drop out, despite the likes of Canada, Brazil and Germany failing to progress to the knockout stages.

Germany have dropped from second to sixth, Brazil from eighth to ninth and Canada from seventh to 10th. The USA, who were back-to-back defending champions but lost in the round of 16, have fallen from No.1 to No.3 - the first time in six years that they haven't occupied the top spot.

Matildas players, pictured here with Nikki Webster during celebrations after the World Cup.
Matildas players pose for a photo with Nikki Webster during celebrations after the World Cup. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Spain, who won the tournament after beating England in the final, have climbed from sixth to second, while England and quarter-finalists France remain fourth and fifth respectively. The honour of No.1 has gone to Sweden, who beat the Matildas in the third-place game. Incredibly, England lost rankings points despite their five wins, a draw (which was a penalty shootout win over Nigeria) and a loss (in the final).

Japan (eighth) have returned to the top 10 following their run to the quarter-finals, while tournament co-hosts New Zealand remain 26th after their exit in the group stage. World Cup debutants Morocco are the biggest movers, going up 14 places to 58th in the world.

Aussie fans have been blowing up over the farcical rankings on social media, with many labelling them 'insane' and 'ridiculous'. But Lachy France, who runs the 'College Matildas' website, said last week: “The Matildas finished the Women’s World Cup with a draw and two losses at home and we lost to a team ranked in the 30s in the group stage. Our ranking is not going up.

“This is not like tennis where you get points for where you finish in a tournament. If you want to be the Jack Kramer of woso, doing vibes-based rankings like it’s 1950s tennis, have at it but don’t tell us what the official FIFA rankings are going to be.”

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