A lawyer's WC2006 query (WARNING: CONTENTS BORING!)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by idea_hamster, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #1
    So, as an attorney, I'm always interested in how organizations set up rules -- in the case of FIFA, the rules about how they choose between two teams that have the same number of points in the pools.

    First, here's the rule (cite):

    XVIII. TECHNICAL RULES FOR THE FINAL COMPETITION
    Article 31 First round (groups)
    5. The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:

    a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
    b) goal difference in all group matches;
    c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.

    If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
    d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
    e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
    f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
    g) drawing of lots by the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup™.

    6. The two teams coming first and second in each group qualify for the second round.

    Now, here's the question: Can section (f) ever apply? I don't think it can.

    Section (d) says that the higher rank will go to the team that got more points in the matches between the two teams. Since there's only one match, section (d) fails to decide the rankings only when the match was a draw, i.e., same number of goals.

    Section (f) then states that the higher rank will go to the team with more goals in the matches between the two. It seems to me that if you've gotten to section (f), that means that section (f) is useless. :confused:

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Points are not the same goals. Points are allocated as follows 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, no points for a loss.

    (d) (e) (f) look at only the games played between the two otherwise tied teams, while (a) (b) (c) look at the whole group.

    B
     
  3. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    #3
    I'd say that it falls down on point (e) as well – if the two teams play to a draw then they both have a goal difference of 0 from that game.

    But hey, it's FIFA. They very often don't make sense. I can only assume Sepp Blatter likes to see teams drawing lots.
     
  4. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    Bingo...

    The difference between points and goals is a subtle distinction in a lot of sports.

    In hockey, for example, a point can be an assist or a goal. So a player could have 30000000000 points but 0 goals. Not that anyone cares. :p
     
  5. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #5
    "If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria"

    (e) and (f) come into play when there are more than two teams that are equal on each of (a), (b), (c) and (d)

    England FTW!!:D
     
  6. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #6
    Ah... that would make sense! I take it all back about FIFA, they're very sensible people indeed. :)
     
  7. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #7
    I understand the difference between points and goals, but I don't see how the mechanism can work for two teams.

    Granted, if three or more teams had the same amount of points, then the system could (possibly) sort them out into a single unabiguous rank order.

    But if two teams have the same number of points (wins/draws/losses), the same aggregate goal difference, and the same total goals, then we have a problem if they've only played 1 game between each other -- which is the case in the World Cup pools.

    Section (d) asks for the greatest number of points earned in the matches between the two teams -- i.e., "who won the game that they played?". If that criterion fails to decide the rankings, it means that it was a draw. Ergo, the same number of goals for each side.

    Then, section (e) asks for the goal difference in their matches. But we already know that they only played one game -- and it was a draw! Goal difference must be zero.

    Then section (f) asks for the goal total in their matches. Again, we know that they both scored the same number of goals in the one game that they played.

    So it seems to me that if (d) doesn't decide the rankings, then we have to go to drawing lots!
     
  8. kumbaya macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #8
    I agree

    Where (e) and (f) don't settle it for three (or more!) teams, it's drawing lots!

    Where (d) doesn't settle it for two (or more) teams, which would be a draw or draws between the teams, again it's down to drawing lots.

    Imagine a situation of 4 teams in a qualifying group. In each of the 3 games between the 4 teams, the score was a 1-1 draw.

    At the end of the group stage, each team would be equal for each of (a) to (f).

    The winner and runner-up of the group would then have to be determined by lots by the FIFA Committee.

    That's why provision (g) is in there.

    Having said that, it's almost a more equitable mechanism than penalty shoot-outs for settling matches.

    At least you don't get random players potentially emotionally scarred for life, for missing or getting a penalty saved...:eek:
     
  9. Veldek macrumors 68000

    Veldek

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    Germany
    #9
    I think rule f) applies here:

    A-B 1-0
    C-D 0-0
    A-C 2-3
    B-D 2-2
    A-D 3-3
    B-C 4-3

    We’d have A, B, C all with 4 points and 6-6 GD, but when only these teams are looked at, we have all three 3 points, all 0 GD, but Team C would have shot 6 goals, B 4 and A 3.
     
  10. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #10
    If you really want an interesting case-study of how rules are interpreted and applied in football (oh...soccer...whatever) look at FIFA's baffling "interfering with play" rule regarding being in an offside position. It's a matter of pure guesswork whether a referee will call you offside or not :rolleyes: .

    And once you work out what it means, someone should tell Cisse :p
     
  11. sreedy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset
    #11
    Which happened in England's group in Italia '90, the Dutch went home after the drawing of lots!

    Group F
    Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
    England 4 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1
    Republic of Ireland 3 3 0 3 0 2 2 0
    Netherlands 3 3 0 3 0 2 2 0
    Egypt 2 3 0 2 1 1 2 -1
    Note: Republic of Ireland awarded second place by drawing of lots

    June 11, 1990
    England 1–1 Republic of Ireland 21:00 - Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
    Ref: Aron Schmidhuber (West Germany)
    Attendance: 35,238
    Lineker 8' Sheedy 73'

    June 12, 1990
    Netherlands 1–1 Egypt 21:00 - Stadio Della Favorita, Palermo
    Ref: Emilio Soriano Aladren (Spain)
    Attendance: 33,421
    Kieft 58' El Ghani 83' pen

    June 16, 1990
    England 0–0 Netherlands 21:00 - Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
    Ref: Zoran Petrovic (Yugoslavia)
    Attendance: 35,267


    June 17, 1990
    Republic of Ireland 0–0 Egypt 17:00 - Stadio Della Favorita, Palermo
    Ref: Marcel Van Langenhove (Belgium)
    Attendance: 33,288


    June 21, 1990
    England 1–0 Egypt 21:00 - Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
    Ref: Kurt Röthlisberger (Switzerland)
    Attendance: 34,959
    Wright 64'

    June 21, 1990
    Netherlands 1–1 Republic of Ireland 21:00 - Stadio Della Favorita, Palermo
    Ref: Michel Vautrot (France)
    Attendance: 33,288
    Gullit 10' Quinn 71'
     
  12. idea_hamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #12
    Exactly -- the rule can work well for a situation for three teams.

    You know, I wonder whether FIFA just copied the same rule from the qualifying rounds. Sections (d)-(f) would make much more sense in that area because teams have played two matches. Once a pair of teams has played two matches, it's more likely that (d)-(f) could rank the teams.

    Also, IMO, it seems more reasonable to choose a team by lots after they draw 2 matches rather than just one (too common). Or after they split the games by the same score (A 0-1 B; A 1-0 B, e.g.). IMHO, they should go by yellow cards in the game between the teams -- let the clean team go through.

    Does anyone know the rule from the qualifying rounds?

    Yeah, that's a pretty complicated rule -- especially the part that seems to say that the defenders create the infraction by moving to cover the offsides player.
     

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