FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Slumps To 41st

•Stephen Keshi, Nigeria’s coach

•Stephen Keshi, Nigeria's coach

Just as pundits had earlier expected, Nigeria has again dropped in the monthly FIFA World ranking from the 37th spot to the 41st in the latest ranking released from FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland early Thursday.

The ranking table on the world governing body’s website showed that Nigeria’s points had reduced to 701 from 710 points it had in the last ranking in December.

With this result, the country is now ranked 7th in Africa behind Mali, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire with 703, 726, 748, 792, 851 and 912 points, respectively.

On the global scene, there is no movement in the top ten as Spain maintained the first spot, ahead of Germany, Argentina, Colombia and Uruguay who also maintained the second, third, fourth and fifth spots respectively.

Though the FIFA ranking has continued to be a disappointment to many Nigerians with the successes recorded by Nigeria’s Super Eagles in recent times, the ranking procedure on FIFA website explains that many things are put into consideration.

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It stated that the number of points that can be won in a match depends on “if the match was won or drawn, and how important the match is.” It also stated that it considers how strong the opposition team are in terms of ranking and the confederation they belong to. All these factors brought together are used in the formula to ascertain the number of points got from a match.

FIFA also considered the matches of the ongoing African Nations Championship, CHAN in this month’s ranking. Nigeria’s Super Eagles were beaten 2-1 by Mali in the first match of the tournament.

The next FIFA World ranking will be published on 13 February, 2014.

—Bamidele Olowosagba