Gas flaring analytics predict that Argentina will win the World Cup

Predicting the outcomes of a football match is notoriously difficult as many factors are likely to contribute (e.g. the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, the form of the players, injuries, and the specific tactics and strategies deployed).

However, our research – which explores the correlation, for selected countries, between gas flaring within a nation and its football performance reveals a surprising correlation that is strangely accurate. Countries with lower gas flaring tend to have better footballing performance (see Figure 1). The most likely explanation is that footballers’ performance is degraded by emissions produced by gas flaring (i.e. CO2, methane, SOX, NOX and other particulates).

Figure 1: Correlation between gas flaring (in billion cubic metres) and football performance (FIFA’s rankings), for selected countries.

Argentina, however, has a stand-out performance, on par with France, with a flaring level 209 times lower. We attribute this performance to better physical attributes and better footballing skills.

Our predictive model, therefore, suggests it will be the clear winner of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

Links to materials:

Note that some readers may notice the selective use of data in this analysis. This is convenient but lacks the scientific integrity that we apply to all our serious analysis. Enjoy!