World Cup Predictions based off SDG 6 – England vs Iran, Senegal vs Netherlands, USA vs Wales

How we make our predictions: SDG6

During the FIFA World Cup, the expert team of Nazava is going to predict the outcomes of the games by comparing the countries performance on SDG 6. For the sake of simplicity we only use 

  1. The amount of people that can drink from a tap in their house, or phrased by the UN as the “proportion of the population using safely managed drinking water services” (SDG 6.1.1)
  2. The percentage of people having access to a proper sewer system or as the UN says The percentage of the population with access to a safely managed sanitation system
  3. The amount of people that can wash their hands, defined by the UN as the percentage of the population that has a hand washing facility at home. 
  4. A wild card. This will be a totally subjective or maybe even somehow objective observation by the Nazava Word Cup Prediction team.

Now let’s get into today’s matches! 

Match 2 England vs. Iran

England Country Background

It’s still the first matchday and we already run into trouble here. England is a country within the Unitary state of the UK. England itself does not have a government. Which is remarkable because the other countries within the UK have a government. There is a UK national football team but it hardly ever plays. So we will have to look up the statistics for England without the rest of the UK. Let’s hope that is possible. England is the place where the beautiful game was invented and won the 1966 world cup. England has qualified for the World Cup 16 times.   England currently occupies the 5th place in the FIFA ranking. 

Iran Country Background

Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran, or the Islamic Republic of Iran is the best ranked football team in Asia. It holds the 20th place on the FIFA ranking just below England’s neighbor Wales. Iran has been at the World Cup on 6 occasions but never managed to get further than the group stage. There is a lot going on in Iran that we are not going to discuss here, but we will share one fun fact so fun fact haters stop reading just now. In Iran a thumbs up is similar to giving someone the middle finger.  Fun fact haters you can start reading again, we will are now ready to start with the prediction.

Percentage of population that can drink from a tap in their house

In Iran 94% of the people can drink from the tap. A very good result right!  We did some research online and most observers agree: Tap water is safe to drink, unless stated otherwise.  

We are of the opinion that if a country does not report SDG data it should not be in the World Cup. However, we lack the means to kick the English out of Qatar so we are using the data for the entire UK together with witness reporting and some random googling.  For drinking water the figure for the UK is 100%.  London has just begun replacing water pipelines which were put there under the reign of Queen Victoria. 

1 point for England 

Percentage of population that are connected to a decent sewage system or similar 

Iran is not reporting on SDG 6.2.1 so that means 0%.  After some research on Wikipedia which, might not be totally accurate as it can be edited by government officials, 90% of Teheran is connected to a sewage system. However, only 10% of the population lives in Teheran. Thus, we give Iran a score of 10% on this indicator. 

In England 98 % of the households are connected to a proper sanitation system. Some of those sewers were built by Queen Victoria as well (maybe not be the Queen herself) and are now being replaced.

1 point for England

Percentage of households where you can wash your hands with soap.

Iran and the UK both do not report on this. So that is 0 points for both. 

Wild card

Iranian English relations have been very complicated. The current situation in Iran is even more messy. So we do not want to burn our fingers here and we do not want to give a wild card. 

Prediction: A win for ENGLAND

Match 3 Senegal Netherlands

This will be an exciting match between the champion of Africa Senegal and the Louis van Gaal Orange squad. 

Senegal – Country background

Senegal is a country of 17 million in West Africa. Senegal was present at the World Cup in 2002 and 2018.  In 2002 they made it to the quarterfinals. In 2018 they were eliminated in the group stage because they had more yellow cards than Japan. The Senegalese will be confident that they will proceed this time especially if their superforward Mane will be fit this time.  Senegal has a GDP per capacity of 1600 USD,

Netherlands – Country background

The Netherlands has the same population as Senegal. The Dutch squad became second in the World Cups of 1974 and 1978 and 2010. The Netherlands team that plays in orange has also never lost a World Cup match in regular time by more than one goal.  The GDP per capita of the Netherlands is 36 times higher than that of Senegal all that wealth has not been able to buy a World Cup title for the Dutch. Now let’s take a look at the water and sanitation data to see who will win this match.. So far

Percentage of population that can drink from a tap in their house

In Senegal nobody can drink water from the tap according to .  The internet is gloomy on the water in Senegal: “Tap water can be dangerous “ & “black or sometimes bright orange water is spurting out of taps.”  However we need to mention that more people have access to tap water in Senegal than in other sub saharan countries.  That is a good start and we salute Senegal for that. But at this moment the score is still 0%. 

In the Netherlands everybody can drink from the tap and the water is of a high standard. The UN score is 100%. River water is pumped into lakes in the dunes, filtered by the sand and pumped from the ground water. However, the Netherlands is starting to run short on drinking water and chemical pollution with medicines and PFAS is on the rise. For now however a win for the Netherlands.

The winner on safe drinking water is Netherlands

Percentage of households that is connected to a sewer

99% of the population in the Netherlands is connected to a sewage system and that water is treated before it flows into rivers and streams. The total length of the Dutch sewer system is a little bit more than two times around the earth or 90,000KM.  The sewage system in the Netherlands is the best in the world after- remember that – Chili. 

Only 24% of the Senegalese population can enjoy a toilet with a decent sewer. A pity for sure because nobody likes to go to a dirty toilet or to squat somewhere behind a tree or a scrub. Currently only 13 percent of households in Dakar are connected to a sewer system. This is, however, not even that bad if you compare that to Jakarta where nobody is connected to a sewer system. Also many projects are under construction. So hopefully Senegal will be a better place to poo real soon! 

The winner on sanitation is the Netherlands.

Percentage of households where you can wash your hands with soap.

The Netherlands is not reporting data on handwashing facilities.  Probably this is to hide the fact that the Dutch are the least hygienic in Europe according to a survey by Gallup. Only a meager 50 percent of Dutch people interviewed washed their hands each time, with soap and water after using the toilet.

In Senegal 22% of the population can wash their hands with soap in their house. Senegal is at least making the effort of reporting this data. Kudos for that. Senegalese traditionally wash their hands in a bowl of water before eating. Programs are underway to spread hand washing with running water and soap. 

The winner on hygiene is the Senegal.

Wild card. 

No wild card necessary at this time

Our prediction : Senegal – NLD : 1 – 2 

And finally…

Match 4 – USA vs. Wales

This will be another exciting match between one of the largest countries in the world and Wales which is not of a country or a country in a country. Let’s dive into the data. 

USA – The giant country with a strong female football squad

The United States of America is the largest economy in the world, the third largest by land area and population. Its female football team (we keep saying football and not soccer on purpose here) is the best in the world.  The US men’s squad, who until recently got paid more generously than the women’s team, is not among the best of the world and ranked only 16th,  just below Switzerland that is known for Heidi and cheese fondue. 

Wales -More sheep than people

With Wales we run into the same problem as with England. We think it is mad that FIFA allows provinces to participate in the World Cup.  Although nowadays we would consider Wales more of a province or a state within the unitary state of the United Kingdom than a country itself. The population of Wales is 3 million. Interestingly in the USA there are 2 million people of Welsh descent. The Welsh who speak a unique Celtic language are accompanied by 12 million sheep.  The sheep keep the turf short which is handy when you want to play a game of football. Don’t forget to remove the droppings first. 

Percentage of people that can drink from the tap in their house

In the US 97 percent of the population is said to be able to drink from the tap. There are some exceptions like Flint, Michigan, Jackson, Mississippi, and parts of Pennsylvania where you should not drink water from the tap but in most areas the water is good to go.  

Because Wales is a part of the UK it is hard to get data . As we already know in the UK everybody can drink from the tap. We could back this up by data from the welsh regional government stating that 99.95% of the Welsh population enjoys safe drinking water. 

Result: Wales wins of drinking water

Percentage of people that live in a house connected to a proper sewage system

98 percent is reportedly connected to a decent sewage system in the USA.   The USA is not present in the list of countries with the best sewers in the world. There are occasional sewer spills than annoy residents

Using the UK data , Wales has the same sewer connection rate as the US. Also the UK is not present in the list with countries with top sewage systems. Also in the British media we find reports on sewage spills

Result: a draw

Percentage of people that can wash their hands with soap in their house

Both countries are not reporting data on handwashing. We are genuinely annoyed by that. Washing your hands is very important especially if you live in a small country with 12 million sheep.

 Result: a draw

Wild card

It would be tempting to give the wild card to Wales just because they are cute but that would be too easy. We keep the wild card in our pocket. 

Our prediction

USA / Wales – 0-1. A win for Wales!