…as FIFA ranks Nigeria 33rd
Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroun and Ghana gained slots in the FIFA/Coca- Cola World Ranking released yesterday, but no African country will be seeded when the draw for the Brazil 2014 World Cup draw is conducted on December 6. Nigeria rose three rungs to place 33rd globally and fourth on the continent, while Cote d’Ivoire retains first position in Africa with their 17th spot in the world ranking.
The Elephants are leading Black Stars, Desert Foxes of Algeria, Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions among the five teams almost certain to qualify for next year’s Mundial, but none will be seeded.
FIFA said in a statement yesterday that 69 World Cup qualifying matches played since the last edition of the ranking, as well as the 20 friendlies and 10 qualifying matches for continental competitions were used in determining the latest table.
“The distribution of teams in Pot 1 for the World Cup Final Draw on December 6 is as follows: Brazil, together with Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and Switzerland are definitely in Pot 1.
If Uruguay win the intercontinental play-off against Jordan, they will also go into the first pot. However, if Jordan win, the decimal points difference between the Netherlands (1135.95) and Italy (1135.61) will see the Netherlands take the last place in Pot 1,” the statement said. In the Top 10, only Spain’s position as number one remains unchanged, while Germany have pushed Argentina out of second place.
New entries into the top ten are Switzerland (7th, up 7) and England (10th, up 7), both thanks to their recent strong performances in the final group games in the World Cup preliminary competition. Italy, meanwhile, have paid heavily for their draw against Armenia, dropping four places to eighth in the ranking. The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published after completion of the World Cup preliminary competition on November 28, 2013. Meanwhile, a further 20 teams have now qualified for the World Cup in addition to hosts Brazil.
They are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Germany, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.