FIFA defend fair play ranking system

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FIFA's director of competitions Colin Smith has defended the policy of using 'Fair Play' criteria to rank World Cup teams when they are level on points, goals and head-to-head records.

Senegal became the first team in World Cup history to exit the tournament because of their inferior disciplinary record to Japan in Group H but there have been no complaints about it from the African team and FIFA seem quite relaxed about their new rule.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow, Smith said: "We want to avoid the drawing of lots as we believe teams should go forward based on what happens on the pitch.

"This is the first time we've used it at a World Cup, so obviously we'll review it but as things stand we don't see any need to change it."

Smith also explained that Fair Play criteria - yellow and red cards - have been successfully trialled at age-group and women's tournaments and were added to the rules for this tournament in 2015.

Source AAP