Confusion reigns: UEFA and FIFA should coincide their tie breaking rules

Grant Wahl has a nice post about how UEFA and FIFA should get their act together and save mass confusion and heart break over the different tie breaking rules followed in the Euro and the World Cup.
If the World Cup format had been adhered to then Russia would have advanced not Greece from Group A, in the most glaring misuse of the head to head tie breaker. Similarly, all this talk about Spain and Croatia conspiring to keep Italy out would have been avoided if goal differential was the criteria chosen to decide who advanced out of Group C.

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2 comments on “Confusion reigns: UEFA and FIFA should coincide their tie breaking rules
  1. I disagree with Grant. Head-to-head is less representative than goal difference. It is a group of 4 teams. Why not let Sweden progress over France since they are clearly better in a head-to-head? Well, they don’t progress because they lost the two other games, while France won and drew (i.e. Sweden performed poorer than France). By the same logic, Russia performed better than Greece as measured by goal difference. Right?
    Anyways, the Russians and all the other teams knew the rules going in.

  2. Kev, I agree with your point. Progress should be based on overall group performance and goal differential should take precedence over head to head – in fact, if those performance based criteria deadlock then a tie breaking extra match should be considered.

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