FIFA ranks Nigeria low, Zambia high
A February ranking by the world football governing body, FIFA showed that Nigeria has dropped from 45th which it was in January to 56th position.
The ranking also showed that Zambia shot up 28 places, breaking into the top 50 for the first time in eleven years after winning the African Nations Cup on Sunday.
The Chipolopolo (The Copper Bullets) moved into 43rd spot, their highest position since February 2001, after beating Ivory Coast on penalties following a goalless final in Libreville.
However, despite the African Nations Cup title, Côte d’Ivoire moved up to 15th remaining Africa’s highest-positioned team.
Aside from the two finalists, third-placed Mali is ranked 44th, while the host nations of the African Nations Cup, Gabon was ranked 45.
Fellow co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, a team made up largely of Spanish lower league players, leapt from 151st to 110th after surpassing all expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.
Spain stayed top of the rankings while Germany moved up to second and Netherlands dropped to third even though neither side played a game in the last month.
FIFA said the change was “due to the devaluation of matches from previous years.”
Similarly, Brazil dropped to seventh and Portugal moved up to sixth while Argentina dropped out of the top ten, losing their place to Denmark.
Rankings (last month’s positions in brackets)
1. (1) Spain
2. (3) Germany
3. (2) Netherlands
4. (4) Uruguay
5. (5) England
6. (7) Portugal
7. (6) Brazil
8. (9) Italy
9. (8) Croatia
10. (11) Denmark