The University of Oxford projected the men’s FIFA World Cup 2022 route through a mathematical model which predicted Brazil to win the trophy for the sixth time. However, when Neymar and his team exited the tournament on Friday, December 6, after being defeated by Croatia in the quarterfinals, the model was seriously trolled on social media.
Oxford University mathematician Joshua Bull developed the model by honing in on the facts, applying his modeling skills, and adding a dash of assumptions to it.
The prediction starts with the group stage, where the Netherlands, England, Argentina, France, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, and Portugal are anticipated to finish first. According to the model, Argentina has a 56.5% chance to beat the Netherlands while Brazil held a 58.5% chance to claim victory against Spain. The model also gave France a 55.7 percent chance over England. It also predicted that Portugal will lose against Belgium in the quarterfinals.
Hilariously, Belgium never made it to the quarterfinals and made an exit in the group stage itself. The model got so much wrong that it was badly mocked on Twitter by football fans who have been following the World Cup in Qatar.
Here are a few of the reactions:
“Your credibility has become incredible. You predicted Spain in 1st place it got 2nd. Japan topped the group. Neither Germany nor Belgium qualified. Instead Japan and Morocco did,” one fan wrote, while another noted, “The method is not very successful, considering that Mexico, Denmark and Uruguay were also eliminated in the first round.”
A third said, “8 of 16 teams predicted by Oxford University’s model didn’t even make it past the groups.” One more stated, “Croatia won! The model by the University of Oxford has been proven wrong!” A Twitter user wrote, “Screw your mathematical model of University of Oxford… Belgium???? Lmao. #FIFAWorldCup.” Another said, “Looks like the University of Oxford should scrap its current model because it’s clearly terrible at predicting the outcome of the group stages. #FIFAWorldCup.”