Nigeria Drop as Morocco Hit Top Spot in FIFA Rankings
Femi Solaja with agency report
With Nigeria not involved in any activity including the just concluded FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar, the Super Eagles dropped further in the latest FIFA ranking released yesterday.
Nigeria dropped from 32 in October to 35th position but Morocco, one of the Africa’s five representatives at the global show piece in Qatar, are now the top team in the continent. The Atlas Lions upstaged Senegal who have been on top of Africa’s rankings for over three years.
Morocco who had a fairytale run at Qatar 2022 moved to 11th position from 22nd ranked in October.
But Nigeria, aside missing out of the FIFA tournament in Qatar, the last international friendly Eagles played against Portugal did not help her ranking. They lost 4-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal in their final build up match to the tournament.
Morocco made history in Qatar as first African team to play in the semi Final of the World Cup and only lost to France and Croatia in the tournament.o
Morocco is ahead of Senegal (19th), Tunisia (30th), Cameroon (33rd) and Nigeria (35th).
Qatar 2022 quarter-finalists, Brazil are still at the top. Lionel Messi’s Argentina, who lifted the trophy in Qatar on Sunday, move up one place, same as runners-up France, who are now third, with Belgium dropping to fourth.
Last weekend’s final was decided on penalties and if any of the two teams had won the match in 90 minutes, according to FIFA regulations, the top spot would have changed according to FIFA new rule on rankings.
Croatia moved from 12th to seventh after finishing third, with fourth-placed Morocco now 11th as the highest-positioned African nation.
England (fifth), Netherlands (sixth), Italy (eighth), Portugal (ninth) and Spain round off the top 10 sides.
Japan’s Samurai Blue are the best-ranked among Asian teams at 20th, in front of Iran (24th), South Korea (25th), Australia (27th), Saudi Arabia (49th) and Qatar (60th).
The next ranking will come up February 2023
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