Countries that performed well at the recently concluded football World Cup in Russia have reaped big in the latest FIFA ranking, with the reigning world champions France, claiming the No.1 slot.
France who beat Croatia 4-2 last month to win their second World Cup title, jumped six places to top the rankings for the first time in 16 years. Les Blues last held the top spot in May 2002.
Former World champions, who also held the No.1 spot before the World Cup, Germany have now dropped to 15th, following their dismal performance in Russia that saw them eliminated at the group stage.
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The top 10 slots include World Cup finalists Croatia (4), semi-finalists Belgium (2) and England (6) and quarter-finalists Brazil (3), Uruguay (5).
FIFA used their new ranking system for the first time and explained the changes as follows:
‘‘The formula, which was approved by the FIFA Council in June…relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the Ranking.’‘
Africa’s highest position in the latest FIFA rankings is 24, which is jointly held by Tunisia and Senegal, who both played at the World Cup.
Ranked 65, Egypt, which lost all its three games at the World Cup,is no longer among the top 10 football sides on the continent.
Africa’s other representatives at the World Cup, Morocco and Nigeria make the top 10 cut, ranked 46, 49 respectively.
The other top 10 sides on the African continent are DR Congo (37), Ghana (45), Cameroon (47), Burkina Faso (52), Mali (63) and Cape Verde Islands (64).
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, 16 August 2018