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The Host Paradox.pdf (450.72 kB)

How strong are soccer teams? The ‘Host paradox’ and other counterintuitive properties of the FIFA’s ranking.

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posted on 2019-11-21, 16:03 authored by Marek KaminskiMarek Kaminski
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FIFA's ranking of national soccer teams is plagued with paradoxes. One surprising paradox is a dramatic underrating of the hosts of main tournaments. The hosts, who are absent from the preliminaries, for a long time, play only friendlies that award few points. Three models estimate the magnitude of the resulting “Host Effect” at 14.1-16.7 positions. Such an estimate goes against the intuition that a large investment in hosting a tournament should result in improvement of the host team’s standing. Host’s low ranking decreases the interest in the tournament and may result in a major loss of advertisement revenue.


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Lead author country

  • United States

Lead author job role

  • Career College Faculty

Lead author institution

University of California

Human Participants

  • No


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