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How to improve fairness in the biggest sporting event in the world? Julien Guyon was mathematician and football fan. It proposes a new method of composition of the groups for the phase of hens of the football world.
Some are much harder than others, and at each edition. If you look at the teams in each group FIFA ranking, one realizes that some are composed of teams much more than others. Today, I’d support Chilean, Italian or Portuguese, I would be pissed, because my team is less likely to qualify that the France or Belgium, which are in easy groups. Watch the 2014 World Cup online and cheer for your favorite team on your computer or mobile device.
Why are groups unbalanced?
This is due to their mode of formation. For the draw, teams are divided into four pots. All groups contain a team drawn at random in each jar. In the first pot, is put the seven nations best placed in the FIFA rankings and the host nation. This ensures a minimum of fairness. Then, it distributes the teams by geographical area. A pot for Africa and Latin America, a pot for North America and Asia, a pot for Europe. This ensures a global character to each group.
And you have another formula
I propose a solution that allows to respond to all the constraints of the FIFA. It must ensure sporting fairness, geographical balance, but also allow to make the television show of the draw draw and apply a rule simple and understandable by all.
Did you time to find a solution?
Yes. I put two and a half months to find the right equation. There were no studies on the subject and the problem is more complex as it sounds (Julien Guyon is polytechnician, holder of a PhD in mathematics applied, Editor’s note). But the result is understandable by all.
Can you explain your solution?
To begin with, I propose to call eight pots, but on purely sporting criteria – except for the host team which is put into the pot 1. Then, I am inspired the formation of the tables tennis: the best faces the less good, the second the penultimate and so on. We can apply this principle in football by cutting in half the draw. The first draw concerns pots 1, 4, 5, 8, and the second the pots 2, 3, 6, 7. Thus ensure sporting fairness in all groups. High quality Stream for the 2014 World Cup can be found on this website.
But this process does not at all take into account the geographical question…
I just there. For each draw, asked a computer list us distributions continental potential, respecting the geographic rules – not more than one nation by continent, except for Europe.
This year, it would give six options for the draw between pots 1, 4, 5, 8, and 24 for the draw between pots 2, 3, 6, 7. Then, the draw would take place in two parts.
As a first step, the possible geographic distribution for each lead. For example, the Spain is a European nation the first FIFA ranking. She faces an opponent of 4, 5 and 8 jars. She’ll know initially if she will face African, American, South American, Asian or European nations. For example, this would give: Spain, Europe (pot 4), Africa (pot 5), Asia (8 pot).
This would give us a table with eight groups, one per head of series, and within each group the continents of other nations. Then it would draw lots by pot names of the nations. Each team would go into the first available position based on its number of pot and his continent.