- Onazi faults grading method, says it’s ridiculous
Nigeria’s good run in the last eight weeks of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers and the victory in the Grade-A friendly with Argentina a fortnight ago failed to count in the November rankings released thursday by FIFA.
Instead of upward movement, the Super Eagles who were forced to a one-all draw by Algeria in the last Group B Russia 2018 qualifying game in Constantine and winner of the friendly with the two-time World Cup holders and the world’s number four ranked Albiceleste, slumped nine places to be ranked 50th globally.
Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Onazi yesterday described the ranking system as ridiculous and confusing.
Speaking from his base in Turkey, the former Lazio player said though the team isn’t bothered about it’s current ranking, it has done more than enough to rank better than teams that failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup like African champions Cameroon who are five places above the Eagles.
“Well, I don’t know how this FIFA ranking thing works but it doesn’t matter whatever position we are ranked. The current ranking is not a position of the way things are. it’s just not fair we dropped despite the performances we put up in the qualifiers and even in the friendly match against Argentina,” Onazi told AOIFootball.com from his base in Turkey.
In Africa, Eagles are now ranked 8th after Senegal (23), Tunisia (27), Egypt (31), Congo DR (36), Morocco (40) , Burkina Faso (44) Cameroon (45).
Only Ghana (51st) and Cote d’ Ivoire (61st) are below Nigeria in the Top Ten of the African rankings.
The Lions of Teranga were the heaviest mover in Africa in the November rankings. This was due largely to the home and away defeat of the Bafana Bafana in the rescheduled World Cup qualifier. The 23rd spot is Senegal’s highest-ever position on the global ladder Of the 32 teams that qualified for the Mundial next year, Eagles are better ranked than World Cup hosts Russia (65th) as well as Saudi Arabia (63rd) and Panama (56th).
Nigeria is in Pot 4 of the World Cup draw slated for December 1 in Moscow. FIFA rankings for the month of October were exclusively used for the seedings.
Meanwhile, there was no movement in the top five of the global rankings as Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium maintained their positions from the October rankings. Spain’s La Roja leap-frogged France and Poland into the sixth place. Switzerland is 8th while Chile is tenth.