By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Nigeria moved one place up in the latest FIFA world rankings released by the world governing body on Thursday, 14 August.
The Super Eagles were previously ranked 34th but following their Round of 16 feat at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the African champions are now ranked 33rd in the world.
Nigeria, who will kick off their 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in September are Africa’s 3rd best ranked side after Algeria and Cote d’ Ivoire. Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Senegal make up Africa’s Top 10 best national football teams.
There is only one small change within the top 14 positions of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. World champions Germany continue to lead the way ahead of Argentina and the Netherlands, but Spain have jumped one position and now share seventh place with Brazil.
Meanwhile, World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica (15th, up 1) have climbed into 15th at the expense of the USA (18th, down 3), which means that Los Ticos are now in their highest-ever position since the introduction of the world ranking in 1993.
There was no move into the Top 10 bracket, neither was there a movement outside of it. African countries; Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda (3 games each) played more matches than other countries within
the period under consideration.
Lesotho has the biggest move by point (plus 89 points) and also biggest move by ranks (up 26 ranks).
The biggest drop by points came from Panama(minus 210 points). They also have the biggest drop by ranks (down by 30 ranks).
The results of 23 new international “A” matches have been taken into account for the current edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Ten of these matches were friendlies, whereas the remaining 13 matches were qualifiers for the next CAF Africa Cup of Nations. It is little surprise, therefore, that the biggest movers of the month are mainly to be found in Africa, namely Lesotho (105th, up 26), Malawi (106th, up 15), Sierra Leone (50th, up 14), Benin (77th, up 14), Botswana (86th, up 13) and Guinea-Bissau (123rd, up 13). This month also sees Sierra Leone make their first appearance in the top 50.
The points from the new international “A” matches have been determined by using the new confederation weightings, recalculated following the 2014 FIFA World Cup™, which has led to slight adjustments in the weighting factors of most confederations. These are now: CONMEBOL 1.00; UEFA 0.99; AFC, CAF, OFC and CONCACAF 0.85.
Germany, Argentina, Holland, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Spain & Brazil (joint 7th), Switzerland and France make up the world’s Top 10 best ranked national teams.
The next FIFA rankings will be released on 18 September 2014.