Best 3rd place

I just realized that the rules for computing who the best 3rd place team is (in uefa 2016 qualifiers) are even crazier than usual. It can happen that a team finishes with more points after eliminating the last team of the group if it loses its last match than it would if it won. E.g., suppose Greece was beaten by Faroe twice, but Greece has beaten (theoretically) Finland once and they play again in the last round. Then if Faroe has 6 points and Finland has 5, then for Greece its better to be beaten by Finland than to win against them.

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2 Responses to “Best 3rd place”

  1. jurgen Says:

    true, but the ranking and hence 3rd place is calculated before the elimination, and that only matters for 3rd place teams across groups.

    instead you should have formulated your issue as stating that the system is not manipulation-proof, i.e., not giving incentives to make best effort to win each and every game—just like that stupid badminton rule at the 2012 london olympics when both pairs wanted to lose their last group match because the winner would (could) meet the undoubtedly best team in the semi-final instead of in the final.

    Suppose, eg, that Greece have 4 and Faroe have 6 points before the last round. Suppose also that Hungary-Greece was a win for the visitors, and that Hungary have made at most 2 points against Faroe in their two matches. Then, keeping Faroe-Romania 0-3, if Hungary make an effort and draw against Greece, Greece are last, and Hungary lose 4 points (3 earlier plus 1 new point) when calculating the 3rd place ranking. If, on the other hand, Hungary lose, Greece overtake Faroe, who become last, hence in the elimination Hungary loses 2 of their previous points, and end up with 1 point more on aggregate for the ranking. I.e., they deliberately want to lose, we can bet a lot of money against them, etc.

  2. domotorp Says:

    And we couldn’t even make it this way…

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