28th November, 2013
Despite booking their place at the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Super Eagles of Nigeria dropped three places on the FIFA/COCA World Rankings released early today.
Surprisingly, the reigning African champions dropped three spots from last month’s 33rd ranking despite forcing Italy to a 2-2 draw in an international friendly played at the Craven Cottage, home-ground of Fulham Football Club of England.
The Eagles are today ranked 36th in the world and fourth in Africa behind Côte d’Ivoire Ghana and Algeria, who are placed first, second and third respectively. These teams will be flying the continent’s flag at next year’s World Cup in Brazil having secured tickets in the recently concluded World Cup Playoffs.
However, the Ethiopian national team that lost to the Stephen Keshi-led Nigerian Eagles on both legs of the World Cup qualifying playoffs moved two places up the ladder from 95 to 93.
Egypt’s national team climbed 13 places to 38th in FIFA’s world rankings for November. The Pharaohs beat Ghana 2-1 at home this month in the World Cup playoffs but lost on aggregate after their first-leg 6-1 away defeat in Kumasi. American manager Bob Bradley has been sacked after failing to see the Pharoahs to qualify for the World Cup. Former assistant coach Shawky Gharib has been hired in his place.
Ghana’s defeat to Egypt in the World Cup playoff return leg has affected the Black Stars in this month’s FIFA World ranking by slipping down one place. The Black Stars dropped to 24th position.
South Africa could not gain from their 1-0 friendly win over Spain last week after FIFA ruled the match out of its ranking profile following the world champions’ use of a seventh substitution in the game. Bafana remain in 61st spot.
Spain, Germany and Argentina hold the first, second and third spots in the world respectively as FIFA Confederations Cup champions Brazil moved to the tenth position in the world.
The next ranking will be released on 19 December.