New article by Guajardo
The article "An analytics approach to the FIFA ranking procedure and the World Cup final draw" has been published in Annals of Operations Research.
Annals of Operations Research is on level 3 in the ABS Academic Journal Guide.
Cea, Sebastián, Guillermo Durán, Mario Guajardo, Denis Sauré, Joaquín Siebert, and Gonzalo Zamorano: An analytics approach to the FIFA ranking procedure and the World Cup final draw, Annals of Operations Research, Online 10.05.2019.
This paper analyzes the procedure used by FIFA up until 2018 to rank national football teams and define by random draw the groups for the initial phase of the World Cup finals. A predictive model is calibrated to form a reference ranking to evaluate the performance of a series of simple changes to that procedure. These proposed modifications are guided by a qualitative and statistical analysis of the FIFA ranking.
We then analyze the use of this ranking to determine the groups for the World Cup finals. After enumerating a series of deficiencies in the group assignments for the 2014 World Cup, a mixed integer linear programming model is developed and used to balance the difficulty levels of the groups.