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World Footy Rankings 2008

  • Wednesday, February 25 2009 @ 11:45 pm ACDT
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General News

After a series of articles the final worldfootynews.com unofficial World Rankings for 2008 have been compiled. The list is a result of voting from six of our writers and taking into account discussion in the articles leading up to the vote. We're well aware that no system can be perfect, especially given arguments on issues such as whether to consider professional players (Australian, Irish), where to rank entities not necessarily widely acknowledged as countries (Catalonia versus Spain, the Peace Team), and whether to consider the best side a nation might put forward or just who was available, not to mention the lack of international matches and vagaries of the IC08 pool system. Nevertheless, it would seem to be a worthwhile outcome to be able to look back on the most recently completely year and to be able to point fans, players and people new to international footy at a table that is a reasonable attempt to rank the world's Australian football playing nations. Here is that list:

worldfootynews.com World Rankings 2008

2Papua New Guinea
3New Zealand
4South Africa
8United States
9Great Britain
16Peace Team

There haven't been many changes since the previous discussions, with the exception the major exception being a late decision to list Catalonia as distinct from Spain, based primarily on the fact that they currently compete as such and the distinctly Spanish entity has not competed recently and as far as we know had also operated independently of Catalan players. That decision is subject to change for future rankings. Great Britain was elevated to an exact tie with Japan for 9th place.

We determined 22 teams fit the criteria, up from 17 two years earlier. The new teams added since our 2006 list are Croatia, the Peace Team, Finland, Catalonia, China and India. The only country lapsing is Spain - hopefully we'll see them return soon.

The biggest movers were Nauru (up from 12th to 6th), the US (down from 4th to 8th) and Denmark (perhaps unluckily down from 7th to 12th).

A World Rankings link will soon be added to our Resources section (a link added to the pulldown menu above).


  • Final rankings are ordered based on the votes of six worldfootynews.com staff
  • Although every effort has been made to be thorough, rankings are always subjective and ours do not purport to be official
  • Nations must be considered likely to have at least 20 or so players available under IC08 rules (this excludes expat-Australians)
  • Based on players expected to meet IC08 eligibility criteria and likely to be available, e.g. Irish players in the AFL thus far have not been available for Ireland (else Ireland would clearly be ranked #2), whereas Australia has 1000s of amateur and semi-pro players who would be available for such tournaments as IC08 if Australia was included
  • Relies heavily on IC08 results and limited other internationals, taking into account whether nations sent near full-strength teams to the other tournaments
  • Great Britain ranked as a whole primarily as they compete as such at International Cups
  • Israel-Palestine Peace Team ranked as they competed as such at IC08 and at this stage would be unlikely to be able to form separate teams
  • Catalonia listed independent of Spain as they appear to have remained separate in Australian football terms and Spain's have ceased making (for now at least) international appearances

Background Discussion