Nigeria Slips to 52nd, Iceland Hits All-time High 18th

0

FIFA RANKINGS

Duro Ikhazuagbe

As reported by THISDAY last week, Nigeria’s second place finish in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco early this month played no significant role as Super Eagles dropped to 52nd spot in the February rankings released by FIFA thursday.

Nigeria’s cumulative point of 606 as against the 651 of January ensured that the three-times African champions failed to return to global top 50.

However, it was not together all bad news as Eagles progressed from the ninth place in the African ranking of January to seventh ahead of Ghana (8th), Burkina Faso (9th) and Algeria (10th). Tunisia remained at the summit of African football with Senegal, Congo DR, Morocco, Egypt and Cameroon in the Top Ten respectively.

Interestingly, one of Nigeria’s group stage rival at the World Cup in Russia next summer, Iceland, chalked up one of the greatest moves of the February rankings.

Iceland climbed to an all-time high position of 18th. The rise of the FIFA World Cup-bound Icelanders (18th, up 2) is one of the more notable changes in a February table left largely unaltered by a quiet period of international action.

The Vikings of Iceland were the revelations of the last Euros in France and are to clash with Nigeria on June 21 in a World Cup Group D match.

Nigeria’s other World Cup foes Argentina remain in fourth place in the global rankings, while Croatia did not also move from 15th position from the previous month.

In all, 34 international friendlies, 28 of which were in Africa, came into the equation, resulting in a static top 15 that is still headed by Germany, Brazil and Portugal (1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, all unchanged).

The entry of Venezuela (48th, up 4), Hungary (49th, up 5) and Jamaica (50th, up 5) to the Top 50 of global rankings at the expense of Cameroon (51st, down 6), Ghana (54th, down 4), and Burkina Faso (57th, down 13) was attributed both to results in the recent friendlies and to the devaluation of last year’s CAF African Cup of Nations calculating points tallies.
The next FIFA ratings will be released on March 15, FIFA announced.