Friday, 6 June 2014

Who's In Continent?

I won't embarrass the author of the screenshot (left) by naming them, but unless there is a late relocation of this World Cup to North America, or a major seismic shift occurs, Mexico will most definitely not be competing on their home continent later this month.
Mexico is a country in North America.

I should know - I have, not one, but two, Geography 'O' Levels! At one time, the 'Americas' were treated as one continent, but not for about 70 years in most of the world, and FIFA has six continental federations.

Mexico qualified (just*) from the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Federation, while Brazil compete in the South American federation CONMEBOL.

For those who like this sort of trivia, there are three South American countries who are actually members in CONCACAF, although one is not a member of FIFA and thus ineligible for the World Cup. Not a lot of people know that.

* Had the United states not scored 92' and 93' goals to beat Panama 3:2 in the final qualifying round, Mexico would have been eliminated. (Panama had a player sent off in the 90', so he probably feels quite bad). 

Mexico may have scraped into a play-off with New Zealand (unbeaten in the 2010 World Cup) but they had no trouble making the finals with 5:1 and 4:2 wins.     
Anyway, there's a stronger argument to say that Europe is part of the continent of Eurasia than Mexico is in South America, but that would mess up a few World Cup models. The topic of home advantage, and home continent advantage, is covered in a rather (ahem) excellent piece over at Betting Expert.

A second, equally excellent (ahem - I seem to be developing a nasty cough today) piece on the World Cup is this one on goals and penalties - something not to be missed (get it?)

On the topic of the World Cup, I have to give a  shout out to Brian at Betting Tools - he has a couple of excellent spreadsheets available for free, one for the World Cup and one for general bet tracking, and both have some nice features. These spreadsheets take a long while to put together, (at least mine do), so it is very generous of Brian to offer them for free.


Unknown said...

Mexico tend to play in the Copa America as an invitee & the Mexican club teams play in the Copa Libertadores - this is so that Conmebol can get the huge Mexican TV revenues. So Mexico is at least partly South American in a footballing sense.

What specifically is 'Home Continent Advantage'? Is it implied from historical results - because we haven't got any recent data. Nowadays players have better preperation/acclimatization.

May I suggest reading Tim Vickery's BBC blog on the above topic:

I'll be following the advice: backing Argentina, and definately not backing Italy or Germany - infact I might even lay them.

Brian H said...

Many thanks Cassini.

The value finder spreadsheet is a great way to identify which prices are value and it's been crucial to me making a profit betting on football.

Sometimes I think a favourite look a decent price but when I've given them a % estimate chance and input the odds the sheet reveals that they are not value to me at all!

I'm always looking to make improvements to the spreadsheets so please shout up if you have any feedback.