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ParaSport News’s 7-a-side football ranking analysis and summary

With the CPISRA World Rankings dating back to November 2014, it has been about five months since they were last updated.  In between that time, 7-a-side football found itself removed from the 2020 Paralympic programme, with the IPC citing amongst other things a lack of indication that the sport was being played in 35 or more countries. The organization still has yet to provide a full accounting on their website as to what happened that led to this decision from their perspective. This is a look at what some of the teams have been up to since 2011.

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CPISRA is listed before the team, with the order based on how ParaSport News thinks the team should actually be ranked, followed by in brackets what we would rank them.

 

2. Ukraine (1)

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group A, which includes Ukraine, Iran, England and Japan.

 

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Oleksandr Devlysh was one of the Ukrainian players on this squad.  Ukraine beat Northern Ireland 6 – 0 in the quarter finals. In the semifinals, Russia lost to the Ukraine 4 – 5. In the gold medal math, Ukraine beat the Netherlands 3 – 0. The team competed at the CPISRA 7-a-side Football Friendly Tournament Groesbeek, Netherlands in 2014.  They finished second.

The team finished first at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

Ukraine goes to England as reigning Paralympic silver medalists after losing out on gold to Russia in the final in a tightly fought match that ended 1 – 0. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished third. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country finished third.

Ukraine finished first at the 2011 International Cup in Barcelona, Spain. The country finished third at the 2011 World Championships.

With limited information, it seems a bit difficult to understand why the Ukraine is not ranked higher than Russia unless that Paralympic gold medal is given a whole lot of weight.  Yes, Russia is a good team, but it looks like the Ukrainians appear to have a more impressive record since London.

3. Brazil (2)

Flag of Brazil.

Flag of Brazil.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group C, which includes the United States, Brazil, Scotland and Venezuela.

 

Players at a training camp in early January of this year included  Players at this camp include Diego Delgado Da Silva,  Erivaldo Dos Santos Camilo, Evandro De Oliveira Gomes De Souza, Fernandes Celso Vieira, Gilvano Diniz Da Silva,  Igor Romero Rocha, Jan Francisco Brito Da Costa , José Carlos Monteiro Guimarães, Marcos Dos Santos Ferreira, Ronaldo Almeida De Souza, Ubirajara Da Silva Magalhaes, Wanderson Oliveira Da Silva, and Wesley Martins De Souza.  The team was back in training camp in late February. In December of last year, Argentina and Brazil held joint national team training camps.

 

Brazil finished first last year at the Americas Cup, ahead of the United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada and Mexico. The team competed at the CPISRA 7-a-side Football Friendly Tournament Groesbeek, Netherlands in 2014.  They finished first.

The team finished second  at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The country had a team participating at the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires.  In a six deep competition, they finished first.

Brazil lost to fifth ranked Iran in the bronze medal match of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, going down 0 – 5. The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012. Great Britain lost 2 – 4 to Brazil.  Brazil won 5 – 0 against Ireland, who held the Brazilians scoreless in the first half. The United States lost 0 – 10 against Brazil after being down 0 – 6 at the half.  Brazil beat Great Britain 4 – 2. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished fourth. The country finished fourth at the 2011 World Championships.

Brazil has an active domestic competition going on, with several teams from around the country participating.

 

Ranking wise, it feels really difficult to understand why Brazil is ranked so high given their Paralympic performance.  They seem really hard to compare against European teams and Asian teams as they do not appear to play them much. This comes down to reputation, and more recent activity as to why they were put above Russia.

 

1. Russia (3)

Flag of Russia.

Flag of Russia.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group B, which includes Russia, Ireland, Portugal and Australia.

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Russia beat Scotland 3 – 0 in group play. Russia beat Germany 4 – 0 in group play. Northern Ireland lost to Russia 2 – 0 in group play.  Russia beat England 5 – 1 in the quarter finals. In the semifinals, Russia lost to the Ukraine 4 – 5. In the bronze medal match, Russia beat Ireland 3 – 0.

 

The team finished third at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

Russia will go to England as reigning Paralympic gold medalists. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished second. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country finished first.

The country finished first at the 2011 World Championships.

 

With limited information, it is hard to understand why Russia is on top unless the Paralympic medal and 2011 World Championship is weighted that much.  They appear to have largely gone inactive save for the major competition in 2014 where they had a third place finish.

 

 

 

5. Iran (4)

men playing soccer

Players at training camp. Image credit: Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled.

Flag of Iran.

Flag of Iran.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group A, which includes Ukraine, Iran, England and Japan. Iran and Japan both competed at last year’s Asian Para Games, with Iran finishing first and Japan finishing second.

 

The Iran side had four national team training camps in the lead up to the Asian Para Games. There were seventeen players at camp who were drawn from provinces that include Kermanshah, Fars, Zanjan, Gilan, Tehran and Qazvin. The squad was cut down to fourteen players ahead of the start of the Para Asian Games.  Four of the players at camp were new to the national team.  These camps focused on improving physical conditioning, getting a better understanding of strategy, and improving ball possession skills.

 

Iran goes to England as a reigning Paralympic medalists, with their color being bronze after being Brazil 5 – 0 in the medal match. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished first. The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished first. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country finished second.

The country finished second at the 2011 World Championships.

This team is the best Asian side, and has historically done rather well against European and American sides.  They appear active, more so than some other teams.  That is why here they were moved up.

 

7. Ireland (5)

Flag of Ireland.

Flag of Ireland.

The Irish team in action. Image credit: Irish Paralympic Committee.

The Irish team in action. Image credit: Irish Paralympic Committee.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group B, which includes Russia, Ireland, Portugal and Australia.

 

 

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.   In group play, they defeated the Netherlands 1 – 0.   They beat Finland 10 – 0. They beat Denmark 12 – 0. Ireland beat Portugal 6 – 2 in the quarter finals. Dillon Sheridan, Podge Leacy, Luke Evans, Tomiwa Badun and Gary Messet were some of the goalscorers for Ireland at this competition. In the semifinals, Ireland lost to the Netherlands 2 – 3. In the bronze medal match, Russia beat Ireland 3 – 0.

 

The team finished fourth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The team participated at the Ireland CP International Tournament 2013 in Dublin in May.  Ireland beat the United States 4 – 0.  The Netherlands beat Ireland 2 – 1. Ireland beat Scotland 2 – 1. In the final, Ireland drew 3 – 3 with the Netherlands, with Ireland winning 4 – 2 on penalty kicks.

The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012.  The United States lost 1 – 3 to Ireland. Brazil won 5 – 0 against Ireland, who held the Brazilians scoreless in the first half. Ireland beat Great Britain 3 – 2. Ireland beat the United States 2 – 1.  The country finished ninth at the 2011 World Championships. Ireland finished at 2010 European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

 

This is one of those rankings that again does not make much sense.  Ireland seems like it should be a bit higher, with the intercontinental rankings that result in Iran being higher not clear.  Recent results post Paralympics seem to suggest they should be higher than seventh, especially given some of their big goal scoring wins.

 

6. Argentina (6)

Flag of Argentina.

Flag of Argentina.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group D, which includes Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina and Northern Ireland.

In December of last year, Argentina and Brazil held joint national team training camps. Argentina finished second at last year’s Americas Cup, behind Brazil and ahead of third place finisher the United States in the six team deep competition.

The country participated at the Défi Sportif Tournament May 2013. England lost 3 – 4 to Argentina. Canada drew 1 – 1 with Argentina. Australia lost 0 – 12 to Argentina after being down 0 – 10 at the half. In the gold medal game, England lost 1 – 2 to Argentina. The team finished sixth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The country had a team participating at the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires.  In a six deep competition, they finished second.

 

Argentina finished sixth at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after losing  to the Netherlands 0 – 3 in the placement match. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished fifth. The country finished seventh at the 2011 World Championships.

 

As Argentina is ranked below Brazil in the Americas region, this rather makes sense but it appears a bit unclear why they are so far down from Brazil and how continental strength is weighted given so little competition that appears to be taking place between them.  Still, there appears no reason not to have them this high.

 

4. Netherlands (7)

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group D, which includes Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina and Northern Ireland.

 

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  They lost to Ireland 0 – 1 in group play.  They beat Denmark 14 – 0 in group play.  They also beat Finland 14 – 0.   Netherlands beat Scotland 3 – 0 in the quarter finals. In the semifinals, Ireland lost to the Netherlands 2 – 3. In the gold medal math, Ukraine beat the Netherlands 3 – 0. Iljas Visker and  Peter Kooij were leading scorers for the team at this competition. Other members of the squad included Anton Saedt, Mitch Lebon and Lars Conijn.

In June of last year, the Netherlands under-18 7-a-side football team played a pair of friendlies against Denmark.  The Netherlands won the first 5 – 2, and they drew in the second match. In early 2014, Japanese youth 7-a-side players visited the Netherlands for two days of training.  The team competed at the CPISRA 7-a-side Football Friendly Tournament Groesbeek, Netherlands in 2014.  They finished third.

The team finished fifth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The team participated at the Ireland CP International Tournament 2013 in Dublin in May.  Scotland lost 0 – 4 to the Netherlands. The Netherlands beat Ireland 2 – 1. The United States lost 0 – 4 to the Netherlands In the final, Ireland drew 3 – 3 with the Netherlands, with Ireland winning 4 – 2 on penalty kicks.  The country had a team participating in the four team deep 7-a-side Development Tournament – Vienna 2013. The under-18 side finished first. The team participated at the five deep International Trophy of 7-a-side football competition in Barcelona in 2013.  Rather than having a Spanish national side compete, there was a team from the Catalan region of Spain that played against four other national teams. The country finished first.

The Netherlands finished fifth at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after beating Argentina 3 – 0 in the placement match. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished sixth. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country finished fourth.

The country finished fifth at the 2011 World Championships. The Netherlands finish fourth at the last 2010 European Championship in Glasgow, Scotland.

Swapped this team with Ireland, whom they appear to be on pretty equal footing with. It honestly feels like Argentina, Ireland and the Netherlands could all be interchanged ranking wise.  The country looks like a leader in game development, but that does not always translate into winning.

7. Scotland (8)

Flag of Scotland.

Flag of Scotland.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group C, which includes the United States, Brazil, Scotland and Venezuela.

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Russia beat Scotland 3 – 0 in group play.  Scotland beat Northern Ireland 3 – 1 in group play.  Germany lost to Scotland 0 – 7 in group  play. Netherlands beat Scotland 3 – 0 in the quarter finals. In the loser semi finals, Portugal lost 0 – 6 to Scotland. In the fifth place placement match, Scotland and England apparently drew 0 – 0.

The team participated at the Ireland CP International Tournament 2013 in Dublin in May. Scotland lost 0 – 4 to the Netherlands. The United States beat Scotland 3 – 0.   Ireland beat Scotland 2 – 1. The United States lost 0 – 3 to Scotland.  The team finished seventh at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

Competing as Great Britain, the team finished seventh at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after beating the United States 3 – 1 in overtime. The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012. Competing as Great Britain, the team  lost 2 – 4 to Brazil.   Great Britain beat the United States 7 – 0 after leading 2 – 0 at the half. Ireland beat Great Britain 3 – 2. Brazil beat Great Britain 4 – 2.  The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country competing as Great Britain finished last.

The country finished sixth at the 2011 World Championships.

There is a problem with assessing this team because how do you factor in the Four Nations issue? Does that provide strength or weakness for the individual squads?  Should that impact rankings or not when just looking at results without any ranking algorithm?

 

10. England (9)

Flag of England.

Flag of England.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group A, which includes Ukraine, Iran, England and Japan.

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Jack Rutter and Michael Barker were members of the English squad at this competition.  Portugal lost to England 0 – 5 in group play.  Russia beat England 5 – 1 in the quarter finals. In the loser semi finals, Northern Ireland lost 1 – 7 to England. In the fifth place placement match, Scotland and England apparently drew 0 – 0. Last year, England participated in a Barcelona hosted invitational, where they finished first ahead of the United States, Portugal and Tunisia. In February 2014, the United States played a pair of friendlies against England.  The United States lost both by scores of 1 – 2, and 2 – 3.

The country participated at the Défi Sportif Tournament May 2013. England lost 3 – 4 to Argentina. Australia lost 0 – 7 to England. Canada lost 0 – 7 to England. In the gold medal game, England lost 1 – 2 to Argentina. The team finished ninth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

Competing as Great Britain, the team finished seventh at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after beating the United States 3 – 1 in overtime. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country competing as Great Britain finished last. The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012. Competing as Great Britain, the team  lost 2 – 4 to Brazil.  Great Britain beat the United States 7 – 0 after leading 2 – 0 at the half. Ireland beat Great Britain 3 – 2. Brazil beat Great Britain 4 – 2.

The country finished tenth at the 2011 World Championships.

There is a problem with assessing this team because how do you factor in the Four Nations issue? Does that provide strength or weakness for the individual squads?  Should that impact rankings or not when just looking at results without any ranking algorithm?

 

9. United States (10)

Flag of the United States.

Flag of the United States.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group C, which includes the United States, Brazil, Scotland and Venezuela.  They are currently coached by  Stuart Sharp.

 

At last year’s Americas Cup, the United States finished third after beating Canada 3 – 0 in the bronze medal match. Gavin Sibayan was a member of the team at that competition, playing on the forward line and led the USA in scoring. Last year, the United States participated in a Barcelona hosted invitational, where the United States finished second behind England. Sibayan was also on the roster for that team. In February 2014, the United States played a pair of friendlies against England.  The United States lost both by scores of 1 – 2, and 2 – 3.

 

The team finished eighth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The team participated at the Ireland CP International Tournament 2013 in Dublin in May.  Ireland beat the United States 4 – 0. The United States beat Scotland 3 – 0.  The United States lost 0 – 4 to the Netherlands. The United States lost 0 – 3 to Scotland.

 

The United States finished eighth at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after losing 1 -3 in overtime against a combined Team GB. Sibayan was also on the roster for that team. Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished seventh. The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012.  The United States lost 1 – 3 to Ireland. Great Britain beat the United States 7 – 0 after leading 2 – 0 at the half. The United States lost 0 – 10 against Brazil after being down 0 – 6 at the half. Ireland beat the United States 2 – 1. Brazil beat Great Britain 4 – 2.

The country finished eighth at the 2011 World Championships.

Here again, the CPSIRA rankings are not entirely making sense.  The United States appears to have played a lot more and played more against international teams outside of Europe. Still, their European losses have been to the best teams, and they do not appear to generally playing chump teams.   The problem is how do you honestly and fairly rate the quality of Team GB’s four national teams?  This ranking may be more about perception of that issue then about the United States.

 

 

 

13. Northern Ireland (11)

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group D, which includes Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina and Northern Ireland.

 

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Northern Ireland beat Germany 1 – 0 in group play. Scotland beat Northern Ireland 3 – 1 in group play.  Northern Ireland lost to Russia 2 – 0 in group play. Ukraine beat Northern Ireland 6 – 0 in the quarter finals. In the loser semi finals, Northern Ireland lost 1 – 7 to England. In the seventh place placement match, Portugal squeaked by Northern Ireland 5 – 4.

The team finished eleventh at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

Competing as Great Britain, the team finished seventh at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after beating the United States 3 – 1 in overtime. The team competed at the 2012 International Tournament, Sochi, Russia in March. In the five team deep competition, the country competing as Great Britain finished last. The team competed at the BT Paralympic World Cup in England in May 2012. Competing as Great Britain, the team  lost 2 – 4 to Brazil.  Great Britain beat the United States 7 – 0 after leading 2 – 0 at the half. Ireland beat Great Britain 3 – 2. Brazil beat Great Britain 4 – 2.

This ranking is mostly based off the strength of Team GB.
11. Canada (12)

Flag of Canada.

Flag of Canada.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group D, which includes Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina and Northern Ireland.

 

At the home hosted Americas Cup last year, Canada finished fourth, ahead only of Venezuela and Mexico.  They lost to the United States  0 – 3 in the bronze medal match.

The country participated at the Défi Sportif Tournament May 2013. Canada lost 0 – 7 to England. Canada drew 1 – 1 with Argentina.  In the bronze medal match, Canada beat Australia 8 – 0. The team finished tenth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The country finished twelfth at the 2011 World Championships.

This ranking is more because of a perception about lack of activity, and not looking like they play and can hold their own against higher ranked teams.

13. Portugal (13)

Flag of Portugal.

Flag of Portugal.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group B, which includes Russia, Ireland, Portugal and Australia.

 

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Portugal lost to England 0 – 5 in group play.  Ireland beat Portugal 6 – 2 in the quarter finals. In the loser semi finals, Portugal lost 0 – 6 to Scotland. In the seventh place placement match, Portugal squeaked by Northern Ireland 5 – 4.

Last year, Portugal participated in a Barcelona hosted invitational, where they finished third ahead of the Tunisia and behind the United States and England. The team finished twelfth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. Portugal won a silver medal at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona, Spain.

This ranking is based more on having smaller losses against better teams than the Australians have.
12. Australia (14)

Flag of Australia.

Flag of Australia.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group B, which includes Russia, Ireland, Portugal and Australia.

The team finished thirteenth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The country participated at the Défi Sportif Tournament May 2013. Australia lost 0 – 7 to England Australia lost 0 – 12 to Argentina after being down 0 – 10 at the half. In the bronze medal match, Canada beat Australia 8 – 0.

Australia will go to England after massive cuts to their budget after the Australian Sports Commission determined that they were unlikely to be medal contenders in Rio.  The country did not send a team to the 2012 Summer Paralympics, as the program was in its infancy at the time.

Eight teams participated at the 2012 International Tournament held in Yevpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine in May 2012.  The country finished eighth. The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished second. The country finished eleventh at the 2011 World Championships.

This is one of those tough ones, because the rankings do not appear to reflect reality.  The bottom line though is with funding cuts and some really bad losses in there, placing Australia higher seems unrealistic.  The team looks like they are likely on a downwards trajectory in terms of their competing much internationally after this World Championships.
13. Japan (15)

Flag of Japan.

Flag of Japan.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group A, which includes Ukraine, Iran, England and Japan. Iran and Japan both competed at last year’s Asian Para Games, with Iran finishing first and Japan finishing second.

In early 2014, Japanese youth 7-a-side players visited the Netherlands for two days of training. In January 2014, Japan held a coaching and classification workshop.  The event took place concurrently with a development tournament for 7-a-side football players and local high school students.

The team finished sixteenth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.The country finished thirteenth at the 2011 World Championships.

If they looked more active and liked they were playing better teams, this could be higher.

 

17. Venezuela (16)

Flag of Venezuela.

Flag of Venezuela.

The country is participating in the  2015 IFCPF World Championships  in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  They are in Group C, which includes the United States, Brazil, Scotland and Venezuela.

The country participated at least year’s Americas Cup, where they finished fifth behind Brazil, Argentina, the United States and Canada. The team finished fourteenth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup. The country had a team participating at the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires.  In a six deep competition, they finished third.

The team participated at the five deep International Trophy of 7-a-side football competition in Barcelona.  Rather than having a Spanish national side compete, there was a team from the Catalan region of Spain that played against four other national teams. The country finished last.

This ranking is mostly based on having qualified for this year’s World Championships, as they have competed against higher ranked teams and done okay.

 

20. Germany (17)

Flag of Germany.

Flag of Germany.

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Northern Ireland beat Germany 1 – 0 in group play.  Russia beat Germany 4 – 0 in group play.  Germany lost to Scotland 0 – 7 in group  play.  Germany beat Finland 5 – 1 in round robin play.  Germany beat Denmark 4 – 1 in round robin play. The country had a team participating in the four team deep 7-a-side Development Tournament – Vienna 2013. They finished second.

This ranking is based almost entirely on their European Championship results where they beat Finland and kept it closer in their game against Russian than the Finns.

 

21. Denmark (18)

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Denmark beat Finland 2 – 1 in group play. They lost 14 – 0 to the Netherlands in group play.  They lost to Ireland 0 – 12.  Germany beat Denmark 4 – 1 in round robin play. Denmark beat Finland 6 – 0 in round robin play. In June of lat year, the Netherlands under-18 7-a-side football team played a pair of friendlies against Denmark.  The Netherlands won the first 5 – 2, and they drew in the second match.

These rankings are mostly based on perception of their performance at the most recent European Championships and the scores in those games.
18. Finland (19)

Flag of Finland.

Flag of Finland.

The country participated at last year’s European Championships in Maiai, Portugal.  Denmark beat Finland 2 – 1 in group play.    They lost to Ireland 0 – 10.  They lost to the Netherlands 0 – 14. Germany beat Finland 5 – 1 in round robin play. Denmark beat Finland 6 – 0 in round robin play.

The team participated at the five deep International Trophy of 7-a-side football competition in Barcelona.  Rather than having a Spanish national side compete, there was a team from the Catalan region of Spain that played against four other national teams. The country finished fourth.

In 2011, Finland participated in the World Championships. The country finished fifteenth. In 2010, Finland participated in the European Championships.In 2006, Finland participated in the European Championships. In 1999, Finland participated in the European Championships.

The relatively high rankings they have appeared to be based more on past glories than anything recent. They underperformed compared to lower ranked teams at last year’s European Championships.

 

22. Mexico (20)

Flag map of Mexico.

Flag map of Mexico.

Mexico participated in last year’s Americas Cup, where they finished sixth and last.  They are the only team from that competition to not be going to this year’s World Championships. The country had a team participating at the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires.  In a six deep competition, they finished fifth.

The only reason they seem like they should not be ranked lower is because they had a not last place finish in a tournament and because their senior team has been more active in the past year and a half than other teams below them.

 

 

19. South Korea (21)

Flag of South Korea.

Flag of South Korea.

At last year’s Asian Para Games, South Korea finished third behind Japan and Iran, and ahead of Singapore. The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished fourth. The country finished sixteenth at the 2011 World Championships.

This is another ranking that appears to make no sense in the context of little recent experience, and beating and losing to another bottom rank dweller.  Rather than move Singapore up, it makes sense to move South Korea down.

22. Singapore (22)

At last year’s Asian Para Games, Singapore finished fourth and last behind Japan, Iran and  Singapore. The country had a team participating in the four team deep 7-a-side Development Tournament – Vienna 2013. They finished fourth. The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished third.

 

This is a team that appears difficult to rank.  They lost a development competition, and they lost at a major regional competition.  It feels like they should be ranked behind Austria as a result, but only because of losses.  Austria has only a few games, and none since 2013. Still, they have a third place finish in a competition in 2012, where they beat higher ranked South Korea.  Again, rankings here appear to make little sense.

24. Tunisia (23)

Last year, Tunisia participated in a Barcelona hosted invitational, where they finished last, behind England, the United States, and Portugal. In December of 2013, the Tunisian Paralympic Committee organized a 7-a-side coaching and classification course.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country. Still, they should be ranked at least ahead of Colombia, who played at the youth international level.  Tunisia at least has played games on the senior level.

16. Spain (24)

Flag of Spain.

Flag of Spain.

The team finished fifteenth at the 2013 Intercontinental Cup.

The team participated at the five deep International Trophy of 7-a-side football competition in Barcelona.  Rather than having a Spanish national side compete, there was a team from the Catalan region of Spain that played against four other national teams. The Catalan team finished third. The country finished fourteenth at the 2011 World Championships.

This is one of those also confusing rankings.  On the face of it, Spain does not appear active enough to deserve this high of a ranking, especially when compared to Venezuela who outperformed them in a much more recent competition. That not having a national side team competing against other national teams thing?  That feels like a major ding on the country’s reputation and capability of fielding a team of the best players the country has, and development being more regional.  Plus, they missed out on the European Championships.  It is unclear what the team was doing in 2014.

24. Austria (25)

Flag map of Austria.

Flag map of Austria.

In September last year, Austria’s 7-a-side team spent some time training with the Austrian able-bodied under-21 national team. The country had a team participating in the four team deep 7-a-side Development Tournament – Vienna 2013. They finished third.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.   Still, by virtue of having what appears to be an active senior team, they beat out other teams.

 

24. South Africa (26)

Flag of South Africa.

Flag of South Africa.

The team participated at the five deep 2013 International Trophy of 7-a-side football competition in Barcelona.  Rather than having a Spanish national side compete, there was a team from the Catalan region of Spain that played against four other national teams. The country finished second.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.  They are ranked this high based on having a senior side competing in the past two years.

 

24. Colombia (27)

Flag of Colombia.

Flag of Colombia.

Colombia’s 7-a-side national team has ten years of history, and has only participated in three international events: The 2007 Para Panamerican Games, the 2009 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Bogotá, and the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires where they finished fourth.

The country has a national domestic competition featuring seven or eight teams drawn from across the country. There were about 100 active 7-a-side football players in the country in the 2013 to 2015 period.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.

 

24. Chile (28)

Flag of Chile.

Flag of Chile.

The country had a team participating at the 2013 Youth Para Panamerican Games in Buenos Aires.  In a six deep competition, they finished last.

In December of last year, the Chilean Paralympic Committee organized a 7-a-side football seminary, which included 60 athletes who were looking to form the basis of a development squad in Chile. In June of last year, the national coach of Chile Matias Henriquez  visited the Netherlands for a one week training course.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country. The limited results mean they deserve to be ranked higher than a team with no apparent history but below those with an active senior team.  They also appear to have active development going on, and a national league.  Still, it is not even clear if Chile has a senior national team.

24. United Arab Emirates (29)

The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished fifth.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country. The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.  They are ranked this high based on having a senior side competing in the past three years.

24. Jordan (30)

Flag of Jordan.

Flag of Jordan.

The country was one of six countries that participated in the 2012 Asian Dream Tournament in Abu Dhabi.  They finished last.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.  They are ranked this high based on having a senior side competing in the past three years.

24. Sierra Leone (31)

Flag of Sierra Leone.

Flag of Sierra Leone.

A CPISRA Technical Development Workshop was held in Sierre Leone in October 2013.  It was organized in partnership with the Sierra Leone FA and the Sierra Leone Paralympic Committee. 42 people participated in the event held at the National Football Stadium.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country.  Given the lack of indication of a national football team, this team should remain near the bottom.

 

Nigeria (31)

In January of 2015, Nigeria officially became a member of the CPISRA and IFCPF. A workshop is scheduled in April in Lagos by the Power Eagles Football Association of Nigeria, with an aim of having 30 football players participating.  They are ranked above other countries where is is unclear that any recent activity has taken place.

 

39. Wales (31)

In November of last year, there was a two day workshop organized by the Welsh Football Trust.  This event was only open to coaches and staff members, and no indication that the national team or athletes were involved. The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  Given that every other team above them is ranked twenty-fourth with zero points, it is hugely boggling as to why Wales is ranked thirty-ninth.

 

24. Bangladesh (32)

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011. At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

24. China (32)

Flag of China.

Flag of China.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011. At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

 

24. Haiti (32)

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

24. Italy (32)

Flag of Italy.

Flag of Italy.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

 

24. Malaysia (32)

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

24. Myanmar (32)

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

 

24. Thailand (32)

Flag of Thailand.

Flag of Thailand.

The CPISRA rankings have no points for this country, which either indicates they are not active, or have not participated in any major event since 2011.  At the same time, there is nothing in the ParaSport News archive to indicate they have done anything since the last Paralympic Games took place.  It is unclear at all why they were on the CPISRA ranking list for November 2014. A repeated theme: This is why we believe the IPC thought the sport’s participation numbers did not add up.

 

 

 

 

 

So agree or disagree with how these teams should be ranked?

 

 If you’re an athlete from one of these teams and you’re up for a quick e-mail, please get in touch with us.  We’d love to hear from you for a story about your sport.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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