FIFA Re-Draw and Cycling Analytics

Why FIFA should re-draw the 2022 World Cup

The draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup takes place in April 2022 when three winners of the play-offs remain unknown. Seeding is based on the FIFA World Ranking released on 31 March 2022 and these three teams are drawn from the weakest Pot 4. We show that the official seeding policy does not balance the difficulty levels of the groups to the extent possible: a better alternative would be to assign the placeholders according to the highest-ranked potential winner, similar to the rule used in the UEFA Champions League qualification. The questionable decision of FIFA has harmed certain nations. In particular, Ukraine should play against stronger opponents if it manages to qualify for the World Cup after the Russian invasion has forced a rescheduling of its match(es). In the spirit of fairness and solidarity, FIFA is strongly encouraged to repeat the group stage draw following our proposal.

The talk was given by Laszlo Csato from Corvinus University.

Cycling Analytics: Present and Future Developments

Analytics has only recently entered the professional cycling industry with predictive modeling applied for talent scouting as well as for race outcome prediction. We will discuss these developments as well as some interesting avenues for future research.

The talk was given by Bram Janssens from Ghent University.