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FIFA RANKING

Nigeria’s World Cup opponents rise in ranking as Super Eagles slump

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

The bad start to the World Cup qualification campaign by the Super Eagles has manifested in the latest FIFA ranking released this Thursday.

Expectedly, Nigeria slumped globally, falling two steps down to 42 from last month’s 40th position. The results in the two World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe may have been contributory factors.

Paradoxically, Lesotho who were forced to a 1-1 draw by Nigeria in Uyo, climbed up from 153 in October to 148 in November.

Similarly, Zimbabwe which the Super Eagles laboured to force a 1-1 draw also rose from 125 to 124. Rwanda, the surprise team in Nigeria’s Group C rose from 140 to 133, courtesy of their impressive 2-0 defeat of South Africa who slumped from 64 to 66.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

FIFA RANKING

Super Eagles plunge in latest FIFA ranking

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The dismal performances of the Nigeria national team, Super Eagles have reflected in the current FIFA ranking released this Thursday.  

 Nigeria dropped eight steps down the ladder from 30th position to 38th. They are also fifth in the continent as Morocco and Senegal hold on tenaciously to the top two positions.

The two World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic which the Super Eagles bungled may have been responsible for the big plunge.

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Loss to Mali may have pushed Nigeria down in latest FIFA ranking –

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Super Eagles Fly To Bouake On Tuesday -

The 2-0 loss to Mali last week in Morocco may have caused the Super Eagles to drop from last month’s 28th position to 30th as the latest FIFA ranking was released Thursday morning.

But despite the drop in global ranking, the Super Eagles are still third in Africa behind Morocco and Senegal.

The Nigeria versus Mali match was just one of the 174 games at the last international window. Nigeria played two matches, one of which Nigeria won one, a 2-1 defeat of their traditional rivals, the Black Stars of Ghana.

According to a press release by FIFA, the matches, played all over the world had a significant effect on the current  World Ranking, most notably within the top ten.

Argentina (1st) continue to lead the way ahead of France (2nd), but Belgium (3rd, up 1) have returned to the podium at the expense of England (4th, down 1). Brazil (5th) complete the top five, but Portugal (6th, up 1) are now knocking on the door. The Netherlands (7th, down 1) have slipped one place, whereas Spain (8th), Italy (9th) and Croatia (10th) have all held on to their positions.

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The USA (11th, up 2), Colombia (12th, up 2), Ukraine (22nd, up 2) and Poland (28th, up 2) have all made progress up the ranking, as have Czechia (36th, up 4), Palestine (93rd, up 4) and Kyrgyz Republic (100th, up 4), all of whom have taken the biggest strides among the top 100 teams.

It is outside of the top 100, however, that the biggest movers are to be found. Libya (114th, up 6) and Afghanistan (151st, up 7) have made impressive progress, but it is Indonesia (134th, up 8) who are the biggest climbers on the back of their two victories over Vietnam during FIFA World Cup 26 qualifiers.

Finally, the performances of Qatar (34th, up 3) and Comoros (117th, up 4) are also worthy of mention as both teams are now currently in their highest-ever position in the ranking.

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FIFA RANKING

Super Falcons down two places but retain continental lead

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Super Falcons down two places but retain continental lead

The first FIFA ranking of the women’s national teams for 2024 appeared was officially released by world football governing body, FIFA on Friday, 15 March.

Nigeria went down two places from the rankings, going from 32nd to 34th position but maintain their lead on the continental.

In the African rankings, the Nigeria are followed reigning African champions, South Africa who moved one place up the world rankings to 51st.

Morocco are third on the continent, while occupying position 58 in the world. The Copper Queens of Zambia moved an impressive five spots to position 65.

World champions, Spain retain their lead in the global rankings.

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