The Importance of Domestic Football Leagues to International Performance: Predicting FIFA Points

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This paper estimates the importance of domestic professional and semi-professional football clubs to the performance of national team sides in earning FIFA points. It is likely the case that the pathway to further development and a spot on the national team for a young player is, at least initially, through a domestic football league. Yet the stage of development of football leagues differs markedly across nations. This paper finds that the presence and development of these leagues is a significant contributor to FIFA points for the national side, but with diminishing returns. Most recently, the largest effect is found for the nations that play in the African (CAF) and Oceania (OFC) zones, while the other four zones (AFC, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and UEFA) share smaller positive effects. Even in the presence of limiting economic and demographic factors, the road to international football success is through the development of domestic leagues.

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The research on success factors in elite sport focuses primarily on the one hand to sport in its entirety and on the other hand to the prediction of success in individual sporting events, especially in soccer. In this paper, we investigate the existence of a first-mover advantage for national team sports, which has a long-term impact on a nation's success in a sport. To this end, we hand-collected data for soccer and rugby and analyzed our sample concerning a first-mover advantage. To do this, we examined the relationship between the date of establishment of each national sports association and later success as measured by the country's world ranking. We check for the essential macro determinants such as GDP per capita and population. Our study shows empirical evidence that the first-mover advantage has a stronger effect on the success of a state in a team sport than the macro factors mentioned. In this way, we complement previous research on team sports by considering a hitherto neglected effect, a long-term perspective and by including rugby.
The inaugural season of the National Basketball Association–supported Basketball Africa League (BAL) featured 12 teams from the African continent, competing in a Champions League-style competition. This brand-new professional endeavor featured player rosters mandated to feature a certain number of players from each of the countries in which the individual teams were based, with rosters also including a small number of foreign players. Proceeding from a Framing Theory paradigm, two coders examined the broadcasts of the BAL competition, analyzing for descriptors including physicality, intelligence, nationality, and experience. Most descriptors pertained to athlete success or failure, with significant findings for most descriptors between nationalities. Ideas for future research are also discussed.
Purpose: The objective of this study is to deepen resource-based view theory by analyzing how Intellectual Capital (IC) affects performance in temporary teams and by showing the moderating role of integrative mechanisms. Design/methodology/approach: The research context focuses on 153 National Teams of Football (NTF), also referred to as national soccer teams, as an example of temporary groups. A Partial Least Squares (PLS) methodology was utilized on a dataset built from and FIFA world rankings. Three main hypotheses were developed and tested using first a PLS and then an OLS approach. Findings: The results show how IC contributes to performance, extending the findings of previous studies to the context of temporary teams. Additionally, the results show how some integrative mechanisms such as assembly decisions and team leader experience influence temporary team performance by creating an interaction effect with existing IC. Originality/value: This study contributes to IC theories for three reasons. First, it applies IC research to a specific research context: temporary teams, where specific organizational capabilities are required to coordinate resources. Second, the study analyzes the role of integrative mechanisms as moderators of the relationship between IC and performance in temporary teams. Third, the study focuses on NTF as an example of temporary teams.
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We construct a simple 2-period game model to determine the effects of recent National Hockey League rule changes on team incentives to win. The effects differ depending on the relative quality of the contestants and whether the contestants compete in the same conference. The model predicts that the average number of points during a season will rise, yet the average point differential among clubs within the same conference will fall. The model also predicts that the expected value of points per contest will be higher when playing nonconference opponents but lower when playing conference opponents. Because only a small percentage of contests are nonconference, we predict that more effort will be devoted to conference contests, particularly by lesser-talented clubs. The result is more competitive and exciting conference games requiring fewer overtime periods and potential ties. Empirical data support these hypotheses.
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A growing literature has examined what characteristics lead countries to succeed or fail in international soccer. We build on this literature by building a model of national success, where success is measured by the number of “FIFA points” a national team earned. We use the model to generate testable hypotheses regarding the impact of a nation’s political heritage and institutions on its soccer performance. Using OLS and Poisson regressions, we corroborate previous studies and find that success increases with income, population, and having hosted a World Cup competition. We also find that a country’s political institutions and colonial heritage affect its soccer performance. In particular, being a wealthy democracy adds greatly to soccer performance. We also find that the success of a country’s club teams is a good predictor of the national team’s success. We conclude that club success reflects a nation’s willingness and ability to finance soccer success.
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Existing research on the determinants of FIFA’s international soccer rankings suffers from serious statistical problems, particularly sample selection bias and non normal errors. We correct for this by extending the data set by an additional 100 countries. Furthermore, we find important roles for new variables in the form of the size of population and a long history of international soccer in explaining world football rankings. We also investigate the determinants of an alternative ranking measure to that constructed by FIFA.
I estimate the effect of participation in top-level football leagues on national teams’ FIFA world ranking points. Taking each national team’s FIFA world ranking points as a proxy for the proficiency of a nation in international football, I examine this football technology transfer effect. For this purpose, I use panel data from FIFA member nations for 1999-2006 to control for unobserved nations’ specific effects. Additionally, allowing for reverse causality, by which players in powerful national teams tend to play in a top league, I use real purchase power parity as an instrumental variable. When including all nations in the analysis, the number of top-league players has a small negative effect, although the estimated coefficient is not significant. By contrast, for “developing” nations (in football terms: i.e., Africa, Asia, North America, and Oceania), the number of top-league players has a small positive effect. If African national teams are excluded, the skills transfer effect in developing nations strengthens substantially. In particular, if an Asian player plays in a top-level league, the FIFA world ranking points of his national team increase by around 30%, and the estimated coefficient is significant at the 10% level.
A parametric model is developed and fitted to English league and cup football data from 1992 to 1995. The model is motivated by an aim to exploit potential inefficiencies in the association football betting market, and this is examined using bookmakers' odds from 1995 to 1996. The technique is based on a Poisson regression model but is complicated by the data structure and the dynamic nature of teams' performances. Maximum likelihood estimates are shown to be computationally obtainable, and the model is shown to have a positive return when used as the basis of a betting strategy.
This paper presents a parameter covariance matrix estimator which is consistent even when the disturbances of a linear regression model are heteroskedastic. This estimator does not depend on a formal model of the structure of the heteroskedasticity. By comparing the elements of the new estimator to those of the usual covariance estimator, one obtains a direct test for heteroskedasticity, since in the absence of heteroskedasticity, the two estimators will be approximately equal, but will generally diverge otherwise. The test has an appealing least squares interpretation.
The influence of income, across countries, on the proficiency of leisure, as measure by international football achievement is addressed. It is widely concluded that leisure is a normal good, however; little research has been conducted on the influences of efforts to become proficient at a specific leisure activity. While the law of diminishing marginal productivity indicates that leisure proficiency will increase at a decreasing rate with increases in time allocated toward the leisure activity, the second-order effect of income on neither leisure nor leisure proficiency can theoretically be determined. To estimate these effects, an empirical examination of FIFA's World Rankings has been conducted. The results indicate that leisure proficiency on an aggregate level is positively associated with income and increases at a decreasing rate. This subsequently provides evidence that the consumption of leisure on an aggregate level also increases at a decreasing rate with increases in income. Copyright 2002 by Taylor and Francis Group
This paper investigates the impact of international migration on technical efficiency, resource allocation and income from agricultural production of family farming in Albania. The results suggest that migration is used by rural households as a pathway out of agriculture: migration is negatively associated with both labour and non-labour input allocation in agriculture, while no significant differences can be detected in terms of farm technical efficiency or agricultural income. Whether the rapid demographic changes in rural areas triggered by massive migration, possibly combined with propitious land and rural development policies, will ultimately produce the conditions for a more viable, high-return agriculture attracting larger investments remains to be seen.
Using the result that under the null hypothesis of no misspecification an asymptotically efficient estimator must have zero asymptotic covariance with its difference from a consistent but asymptotically inefficient estimator, specification tests are devised for a number of model specifications in econometrics. Local power is calculated for small departures from the null hypothesis. An instrumental variable test as well as tests for a time series cross section model and the simultaneous equation model are presented. An empirical model provides evidence that unobserved individual factors are present which are not orthogonal to the included right-hand-side variable in a common econometric specification of an individual wage equation.
This paper reports regression results identifying the variables influencing a country’s performance in international soccer games. The results reveal that economic, demographic, cultural and climatic factors are important. In particular, inverted U-shape relationships are identified with respect to temperature and per-capita wealth. We also find a significant interaction between Latin cultural origin and population size, while both variables are individually insignificant. Explanations for our results are offered.
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These salaries include those for designated players whose salaries can be much higher than the average
Source: (accessed November 3, 2014). These salaries include those for designated players whose salaries can be much higher than the average.
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The CrossRef database ( has been used to validate the references. Mismatches between the original manuscript and CrossRef are tracked in red font
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