Nigeria’s free fall in FIFA Ranking has continued as the three-time African champions slipped five places to the 67th spot in the April standing released on Thursday. The Super Eagles are 14th in Africa.
Eagles’ failure to snap a place in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Gabon, due to the draw against Egypt in Kaduna and the loss in Alexandria four days later, accounted largely for the poor ranking. The Pharaohs are ranked fifth in the continental standings.
Now, while this rating is likely going to impact on Egypt to be seeded among the top five when the World Cup draw is staged on June 24, the poor standing of Eagles means that the possibilities of confronting any of the top countries in the continent is very imminent.
Nigeria is likely going to be grouped with at least two better ranked teams in the World Cup qualifying group phase.
In Africa, the Super Eagles are behind Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Congo DR, Guinea, Congo, Cameroun, Morocco and Mali.
Meanwhile, Algeria remains Africa’s best football nation after moving four places to the 33rd position in the world while second-placed Cote d’Ivoire climbed two places to 34th and Egypt zoomed nine places up to 44th in the world but are fifth in Africa.
At the global level, Argentina leapfrogged Belgium to take the top spot in the world ranking.
La Albiceleste’s recent performances in World Cup qualifying matches helped Argentina end Belgium’s five-month-long reign at the summit of football’s world ranking which began when the Red Devils snatched pole position from Argentina back in November 2015.
Close behind, Chile moved into third spot (up two places), Colombia fourth (up four) and Uruguay jump to ninth (up two) to strengthen the South American grip on the top ten.
A total of 171 games were taken into account for the April edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, which includes 51 qualifiers for Russia 2018, 60 continental qualifiers and 60 international friendlies.
The two most outstanding performers for April hail from the African continent. Guinea-Bissau (up 45) climbed the most positions by rank, while Morocco (131 points) enjoyed the biggest move by virtue of points.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on May 5, 2016.
AFRICA’S TOP TEN