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23 June 2006


Kári Tulinius

Why do you want France to lose? Do you have money on South Korea and Switzerland to meet in the final? All kidding aside, what have you against the French national team?


"44 games played, and it is till the case that a country that is both
poorer and smaller than its opponents has only won once: Ecuador 2
Poland 0"

uh... what about the Czech vrs USA and Ghana vrs USA games?


Cote d'Ivoire is significantly larger and more populous than Serbia & Montenegro, and significantly poorer too.
(2005 GDP [PPP est.]= $28.52 b vs. $43.56 b).


In the earlier post on the subject, Footynomics, I specifically exempted the USA on the ground that they are too big and rich and too rubbish at football to count.

John Lanchester

I've come round to the French again now that they seem to be trying to win. As for Cote d'Ivoire v Serbia & Montenegro, I missed that one, though it's hard to calculate precisely since you have to allocate a proportion of GDP to the ampersand.

Toby Handfield

Don't concede on Cote d'Ivoire yet, John! Your footynomic hypothesis is that if a poorer nation wins it will be larger than the losing nation. In the case of Serbia & Montenegro, the richer nation lost, but the winner (Cote d'Ivoire) was the larger nation. So the prediction holds good.

On the other hand, to be a little more downbeat, another way of looking at it is that whenever a rich small nation meets a large poor nation, your hypothesis is unfalsifiable. Either the rich nation wins, or the large nation wins. It might be nice to check how often such match-ups occur of small and rich versus large and poor nations.

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