- Thursday, 08 March 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
Gambia has continued to tumble down the world football rankings after slipping eight places to sit on 123rd position, according to the latest FIFA Ranking released in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The rankings weigh all international results over a rolling four-year period, including qualifiers for the World Cup and 2013 Cup of Nations, plus friendlies.
Ninety-one games have been taken into account for the March edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, three-quarters of which were friendly matches. The Scorpions of The Gambia played just one match ahead of the March edition which is the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Algeria that ended in a 1-2 in favor of the visitors.
The Scorpions have also slumped further in the CAF rankings and are now ranked 35th in Africa.
Ivory Coast are the highest-ranked African team at No 15. African Cup of Nations champion Zambia rose two more places to No 41. World and European champions Spain remained top of the FIFA’s monthly world rankings. The Netherlands (2nd, up 1) are once again Spain’s closest challengers thanks to their 3-2 victory in England, which was coupled with a 2-1 defeat for Germany (3rd, down 1).
Meanwhile, Argentina (8th, up 3) have returned to the top ten after a one-month absence, pushing Denmark (11th, down 1) out of the coveted positions in the process. In Asia, ten matches in the third round of the preliminary competition for the 2014 FIFA World Cup have left their mark. Uzbekistan (67th, up ten) sensationally defeated Japan (33rd, down 3) 1-0 to claim top spot in their group, and they now head into round four defending an unbeaten record.
Korea Republic (30th, up 4) have also benefited from Japan’s slip-up to surge past the Samurai Blue for the first time since 2004, whereas Australia (20th, up 2) have also returned to the top 20 thanks to their high-scoring 4-2 victory over Saudi Arabia.
The biggest climbers of the month all come from Africa, however, with the victors of 13 matches in the second round of CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2013 qualifying all securing the most points, and Congo (101st, up 29), Chad (112th, up 29) and São Tomé e Príncipe (115th, up 53) in particular all causing a stir.
São Tomé e Príncipe and Estonia (47th, up 7) are both also currently in their highest-ever positions since the introduction of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for men’s national teams in association football. The teams of the member nations of FIFA, football’s world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest.
A point system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of all FIFA-recognised full international matches. Under the existing system, rankings are based on a team’s performance over the last four years, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team.
Since their introduction in 1992, the FIFA World Rankings have been the matter of much debate, particularly regarding the calculation procedure and the resulting disparity between generally perceived quality and world ranking of some teams.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be issued on 11 Apr 2012.