New Tunisia’s President Takes Oath Of Office

Tunisia’s new President Kais Saied (R) takes the oath of office near acting Tunisian parliament speaker Abdelfattah Mourou on October 23, 2019, in Tunis. Fethi Belaid / AFP

 

 

Tunisia’s new President Kais Saied took the oath of office on Wednesday after his surprise election victory over champions of the political establishment.

Saied, a conservative academic with no previous political experience who won the overwhelming support of younger voters in an October 13 runoff, was sworn in before members of the constituent assembly and other top state bodies.

The poll followed the death in July of Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s first president freely elected by universal suffrage.

READ ALSO: Police Recover 39 Bodies In Container Near London

After sweeping 72.71 percent of the vote in this month’s runoff, Saied has won a clear mandate to fight corruption and promote social justice, even though his role focuses on security and diplomacy.

A constitutional law professor whose rigid and austere demeanour earned him the nickname “Robocop”, Saied has no real experience in foreign policy.

Tunis, which currently chairs the Arab League, could renew diplomatic ties with Syria, severed since 2012, and play a role in the return of the war-torn country to the bloc.

Saied has made strong statements against Israel, considering any ties with the Jewish state to be “high treason” — an Arab nationalist position that earned him praise among supporters.

While the security situation has significantly improved since a series of high-profile attacks on tourists in 2015, Tunisia has maintained a state of emergency for four years, with assaults against security forces persisting.

On June 27, a suicide attack killed two people in the heart of the capital Tunis, reviving the spectre of violence.

During the campaign debate, Saied said a key to fighting terrorism was education, arguing that improving primary education would “immunise” youth against extremism.

Another significant task he will face is reforming the police force, which was a cog in the dictatorship toppled by the Arab Spring revolt of 2011 and which continues to be accused of human rights abuses.

Academic Wins Tunisia Presidential Poll By A Landslide

Conservative academic Kais Saied kisses the Tunisian flag as he celebrates his victory in the Tunisian presidential election in the capital Tunis on October 13, 2019. Photo Credit: FETHI BELAID / AFP

 

Conservative academic Kais Saied Sunday won a landslide victory in Tunisia’s presidential runoff, sweeping aside his rival, media magnate Nabil Karoui, state television Wataniya said.

It said he scooped almost 77 percent of the vote, compared to 23 percent for Karoui.

News of the victory triggered celebrations at the retired law professor’s election campaign offices in central Tunis, as fireworks were set off outside and supporters honked car horns.

Media Mogul, Academic Face Off As Tunisians Elect President

A Tunisian voter casts her ballot at a polling station in the capital Tunis on October 13, 2019, during the second round of the presidential election. Fethi Belaid / AFP

 

 

Tunisians began voting on Sunday in a presidential runoff pitting a conservative academic against a media magnate fresh out of jail, reflecting a shift in the country’s post-revolution political landscape.

The political newcomers swept aside the old guard in the first round, highlighting voter anger over a stagnant economy, high unemployment, and poor public services in the cradle of the Arab Spring.

Adding controversy and suspense to the contest, presidential contender Nabil Karoui only walked free on Wednesday, having spent more than a month behind bars on suspicion of money-laundering.

READ ALSO: Turkey Assault Could Displace 400,000 In Syria, Says UN

This election is “more exciting than a local derby (football match),” said a young man taking part in a lively debate on Bourguiba Avenue in central Tunis ahead of the showdown.

The vote, Tunisia’s second free presidential poll since the 2011 revolt, follows the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in July.

Polling stations opened to the electorate of seven million at 8:00 am (0700 GMT) and are due to close at 6:00 pm. Exit polls are expected by Sunday evening.

On Friday night, Karoui and law professor Kais Saied went head-to-head in a rare television debate, a last bid to woo voters.

Karoui, a 56-year-old business tycoon, appeared relaxed, if at times hesitant. Speaking in Tunisian dialect, he stuck to his key themes of economic liberalisation and fighting poverty.

Serious but also at ease, 61-year-old independent candidate Saied called for the decentralisation of power and criticised the country’s partisan system, in classical Arabic.

The runoff outcome remains uncertain, with a ban on opinion polls, but Karoui received a boost with his newly formed party, Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunis), coming second in legislative elections a week earlier.

Saied topped the first round in the presidential election, held on September 15, with 18.4 percent of votes, while Karoui followed with 15.6 percent. Turnout for that round was a modest 45 percent.

Karoui presents himself as a candidate for the poor but spent most of his campaign imprisoned on money-laundering and tax-evasion charges. He was released on his fourth appeal in court after threatening to contest the results.

– Sharp contrast –

While the candidates are both seen as anti-establishment figures, the contrast between them is sharp, with Saied nicknamed “Robocop” for his rigid and austere manner.

A social conservative, he has defended the death penalty, criminalisation of homosexuality and a sexual assault law that punishes unmarried couples who engage in public displays of affection.

Saied is an expert on constitutional law, who taught at the Tunis Faculty of judicial and political sciences for nearly two decades.

He launched an unorthodox election campaign that saw him shun mass rallies and instead canvass door-to-door.

The appeal of flamboyant Karoui, who always appears in designer suits, stems largely from his media empire and philanthropic activity.

A former executive for Colgate-Palmolive, in 2002 Karoui launched a media agency with his brother.

After the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Nessma TV channel that Karoui founded turned from entertainment programming towards news, becoming one of Tunisia’s largest private broadcasters.

Over the past three years, Karoui burnished his reputation with a charity show on Nessma in which he distributed household appliances to needy families.

His arrest in the run-up to the election cemented his status as an outsider — despite being a longtime key supporter of Essebsi, whose death on July 25 brought forward the polls.

Karoui, who says the allegations against him are politically motivated, campaigned by proxy through his wife and party.

Although now a free man, Karoui is still under investigation for fraud and banned from travelling abroad.

But if he wins the runoff, Karoui will receive immunity “and all the legal proceedings against him… will be suspended until the end of his mandate”, constitutional law professor Salsabil Klibi told AFP.

Tunisia Fixes October 13 For Presidential Election Runoff

 

Tunisia’s electoral commission said Wednesday the country’s presidential election runoff would take place on October 13 despite calls to postpone the vote by the party of a jailed frontrunner.

ISIE said campaigning would kick off Thursday for the second and final round of voting, which will see imprisoned media mogul Nabil Karoui face off against independent law professor Kais Saied.

“ISIE can neither advance nor postpone the date of the elections under the constitution,” commission head Nabil Baffoun said.

The spokesman for Karoui, who has been detained since August 23 on charges of money laundering and tax evasion, had called Tuesday night for a suspension of the vote as long as the candidate remains behind bars.

That came as Tunisia’s court of appeal rejected a fresh request for Karoui’s release.

ISIE, international observers and political leaders have called for Karoui to be allowed to campaign fairly.

“We have made every effort to ensure equal opportunities,” Baffoun said.

“We sent letters to the justice ministry, the prosecutor general and even the judge in charge of the case to give Nabil Karoui the opportunity to speak in the media, or even to release him.”

The timing of Karoui’s arrest, 10 days before the start of campaigning, raised questions about the politicisation of the judicial process.

Despite the legal proceedings, Karoui’s candidacy was approved by ISIE and he campaigned by proxy via the Nessma television channel he founded and through his wife.

After the first round of voting on September 15, Saied led with 18.4 percent of votes, according to ISIE, with Karoui in second with 15.6 percent.

AFP

Tunisia Ex-President Ben Ali Buried In Medina

Former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali 1987 poses for an official picture in front of the Tunisian flag.  Handout / AFP

 

Tunisia’s former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was buried in the Muslim holy city of Medina on Saturday, witnesses said, after he died in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Ben Ali, who died Thursday in the city of Jeddah, was laid to rest at Al-Baqi cemetery next to the Prophet Mohammed’s mosque and a place of great reverence for Muslims.

Some of his family were to receive condolences on Sunday in an upmarket suburb of Tunis, according to a small notice published in Tunisia’s La Presse newspaper.

Ben Ali, the first leader to be toppled by the Arab Spring revolts, died aged 83.

He ruled his North African country from 1987 until 2011 and was viewed by some as a bulwark against Islamist extremism, but he faced criticism for muzzling the opposition and his reluctance to embrace democracy.

Eventually, growing frustration over unemployment and high prices snapped.

In late 2010, a young trader in Sidi Bouzid, in the impoverished centre of the country, set fire to himself in protest at humiliation by police.

That sparked protests which rocked Tunisia and triggered a deadly clampdown.

But the protesters won: on January 14, 2011 Ben Ali fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia where he stayed until his death.

His rapid departure sparked a string of similar uprisings across the region, toppling Egyptian and Libyan strongmen Hosni Mubarak and Moamer Kadhafi.

The ex-leader’s wife, Leila Trabesli, who has led a comfortable and discreet life in exile with daughters Nesrine and Halima — along with son Mohamed — has little incentive to return home.

She faces heavy sentences for embezzlement, alongside possession of weapons, drugs and archaeological artefacts.

Ben Ali himself was sentenced several times to life in prison, including for the bloody suppression of protests in the last weeks of his autocratic rule that killed more than 300 people.

He never faced justice.

AFP

Tunisia’s Ex-President Ben Ali Dies At 83

FILES) In this file photo taken on April 01, 1988 former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali 1987 poses for an official picture in front of the Tunisian flag.  Handout / AFP

 

Former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the first leader to be toppled by the Arab Spring revolts, died Thursday in Saudi Arabia, Tunisia’s foreign ministry told AFP.

“We had confirmation of his death 30 minutes ago,” the ministry said, without giving further details. Ben Ali was 83.

His lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha, confirmed the news, citing family members and Ben Ali’s doctor.

Ben Ali, who ruled his North African country from 1987 until 2011, was viewed by some as a bulwark against Islamist extremism, but faced criticism for muzzling the opposition and his reluctance to embrace democracy.

Eventually, growing frustration over unemployment and high prices snapped.

In late 2010, the self-immolation of a young trader sparked major protests that rocked the country and sparked a deadly clampdown.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011.

His rapid departure sparked a string of similar uprisings across the region, toppling Egyptian and Libyan strongmen Hosni Mubarak and Moamer Kadhafi.

The turmoil triggered what was to become Syria’s devastating eight-year war.

 Pyjamas in exile 

In mid-2012, Ben Ali was sentenced in absentia to life in jail for his role in the deaths of protesters during the uprising that ousted him.

Little information has emerged on his life in exile.

Photos posted on Instagram in 2013 showed the former strongman smiling in striped pyjamas.

Rumours of his death had circulated several times in recent years.

A week ago, Ben Salha said the former president was in a “critical condition”, before denying reports that he had died.

“He is not dead, but his state of health is bad. He has left hospital and is currently being cared for at his home — his condition is stabilising”, the lawyer said at the time.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said last week that on humanitarian grounds Ben Ali could return to die in his own country — “like every Tunisian” — should he wish to do so.

Ben Ali is survived by six children; three daughters by a first marriage and two daughters and a son by Leila Trabelsi.

A career soldier, Ben Ali took power on November 7, 1987 when he toppled Habib Bourguiba, the ailing father of Tunisian independence who was by then reported to be senile.

Tunisians, including Islamists, hailed his bloodless, non-violent takeover.

He went on to make Tunisia a moderate voice in the Arab world while Western governments viewed him as an effective bulwark against extremism despite criticism of his slow move toward democracy.

Ben Ali was also sentenced in absentia to misappropriating public funds and ordering the torture of army officers who allegedly led a coup attempt against him.

Tunisia on Sunday held a presidential election, in which two outsiders — law professor Kais Saied and detained media mogul Nabil Karoui — made it through to a second round run-off.

The country’s first post Arab Spring democratically elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, died in July aged 92, bringing the first round of the presidential polls forward by several months.

AFP

Tunisia Presidential Candidate To Stay In Jail

Vice Principal Gets Life Imprisonment For Raping 12-Year-Old In Ekiti
File Photo

 

A fresh appeal for the release of jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui who has a reached a runoff in Tunisia’s presidential polls was turned down on Wednesday, his lawyers said.

“The judge has refused to give a ruling, saying it was not in his jurisdiction,” lawyer Kamel Ben Messoud said, after requesting his release the previous day.

“We will appeal,” he told AFP.

The court did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

Karoui, a 56-year-old media magnate, is under investigation for alleged money laundering and has been in pretrial detention since August 23.

Lawyer Nazih Souii said it was the third time a judge had said the matter was beyond his jurisdiction.

The court of appeals refused to pass judgement on September 3, as did the court of cassation on September 13.

Tunisia’s electoral commission, ISIE, has confirmed Karoui made it to the presidential runoff along with law professor Kais Saied following Sunday’s first-round vote.

Karoui remains eligible to run despite his imprisonment, as long as any conviction does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.

He campaigned through the Nessma television channel he founded. ISIE has said it is investigating alleged electoral violations, including by Nessma TV.

Depending on potential appeals, the second round could be staged on October 6, the same day as legislative elections, or on October 13, ISIE said.

Observers from the European Union said the first round has been “transparent”.

But it called for the candidates to have the “same opportunities” to campaign, in an apparent allusion to Karoui.

Nearly 100 Candidates In Race To Become Tunisia President

 

Nearly 100 people including the prime minister have thrown their hats into the ring to become Tunisia’s next president, with a last minute rush to meet Friday’s registration deadline.

A total of 98 presidential hopefuls submitted their paperwork by the official 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) deadline, the country’s electoral commission told AFP.

On Friday alone, 42 people registered their candidacy.

“Political ratatouille,” the French-language daily Le Temps dubbed the electoral manoeuvring ahead of the September 15 elections.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who announced on Thursday he would run, presented his application surrounded by supporters, and confirmed he would not resign.

“Anyone who is seeking my resignation is in fact aiming to delay the elections and my resignation means the resignation of the government,” he said.

Originally scheduled for November, the presidential polls in the North African country have been brought forward following the death of incumbent Beji Caid Essebsi late last month.

Chahed, 43, the country’s youngest prime minister, faces possible competition from Abdelfattah Mourou of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party as well as from controversial media magnate Nabil Karoui.

Ennahdha won the first polls held after the 2011 uprising which ousted autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and is currently the largest party in parliament.

Tunisia has been praised as a rare case of democratic transition to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings.

But it has struggled with repeated jihadist attacks, along with inflation and unemployment that have hit Chahed’s popularity

Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki wants to stand, as well as Defence Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi, 69, who is also vying for a seat in the race after first resigning.

And for the first time in Tunisia’s history an openly gay candidate is seeking to be on the ballot. But Mounir Baatour’s presidential bid has been denounced by 18 associations which campaign for LGBTIQ rights, who say the controversial lawyer does not represent them.

The election commission will rule on August 31 which candidates have met the criteria to stand, with campaigning due to start on September 2.

Essebsi’s Death Marks ‘End Of An Era’ In Tunisian Politics – Buhari

This picture taken on July 27, 2019 shows a view of the funerary procession of late Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi at the presidential palace in the capital’s eastern suburb of Carthage. Wassim JDIDI / AFP. Inset – President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday joined people and government of Tunisia in mourning President Beji Caid Essebsi who died at the age of 92.

According to him, the death of Essebsi, who is the first democratically elected leader of the North African country, will create a vacuum in the polity.

READ ALSO: Macron, Other Leaders Attend Funeral Of Tunisian President

The President, therefore, urged the citizens of Tunisia to find encouragement and solace in the legacies of their late leader.

“His death marks the end of an era in the politics of Tunisia. The country has lost a father figure,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu.

He added, “The Nigerian government and people extend heartfelt condolences to his family and the government and people of Tunisia.”

Tunisia Mourns, Advances Polls After Death Of President

Tunisian gather for the state funeral of late president Essebsi at the El-Jellaz cemetery in Tunis on July 27, 2019. Beji Caid Essebsi, the country’s first head of state elected in nationwide polls, died on July 27 at the age of 92/AFP

 

Tunisia is gearing up for snap elections as early as September following the death of president Beji Caid Essebsi, amid uncertainty over who could step forward to run the North African country.

Essebsi, the country’s first head of state elected in nationwide polls, died Thursday at the age of 92, triggering fears of political unrest in a country seen as a rare success story following the Arab Spring uprisings.

Newspapers on Friday paid tribute to “the father of consensus”, while festivals were cancelled and the government declared seven days of mourning.

“Our pain is great, our sorrow is immense,” read an editorial in French language daily Le Temps.

Hundreds of people — some in tears, others singing the national anthem — gathered outside a military hospital in Tunis on Friday as Essebsi’s body was taken to the presidential palace in nearby Carthage.

Within hours of Essebsi’s death, parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur was sworn in as interim president, who under the constitution has 90 days to organise a presidential election.

The electoral commission said the poll would “probably” be held on September 15, two months earlier than planned.

Foreign governments including that of former colonial power France have hailed Essebsi’s role in Tunisia’s democratic transition.

Algeria, Libya and Mauritania as well as Egypt and Jordan all declared three days of mourning, while US President Donald Trump in a White House statement paid tribute to Essebsi’s “tremendous leadership”.

The funeral ceremony is to take place on Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah in attendance, before Essebsi is buried in his family’s plot in central Tunis.

– Reforms despite turmoil –
The birthplace of the Arab Spring revolts, Tunisia is the only country affected by the uprisings to have pushed through democratic reforms — despite political unrest, a sluggish economy and jihadist attacks.

Islamist extremists have staged repeated deadly attacks since the overthrow of Ben Ali, raising fears for the country’s fragile democracy and throttling its tourism industry.

Following Ben Ali’s departure, Essebsi founded the secularist Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunis) party, which he led to victory at the polls in 2014.

The party formed a coalition with the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha, which lasted four years before the two parties split.

But Nidaa Tounes has struggled to overcome bitter internal divisions between Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and the president’s son, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, leading to the premier being sidelined from Nidaa Tounes and forming his own rival party, Tahia Tounes.

The president’s death also comes amid a debate over who will be able to run in the next presidential elections.

Essebsi neither rejected nor enacted an amended electoral code passed by parliament in June that would bar the way for several strong candidates including media magnate Nabil Karoui.

Karoui, who has formed a political party, was charged with money laundering this month after he stated his intention to stand.

The presidential election, along with a parliamentary vote that had been set for October, also comes with Tunisia yet to set up a constitutional court eight years after the Arab Spring.

Despite the uncertainty, Chahed hailed a “peaceful transfer of power”, while interim leader Ennaceur vowed that “the state will continue to function”.

But Tunisian politicians and analysts said the failure to establish a constitutional court was a key piece of unfinished business left behind by Essebsi, along with an unprecedented law that would have given women equal inheritance rights as men.

“He was one of the elements who undermined the creation of the constitutional court,” for political reasons, said lawmaker Ghazi Chaouachi.

“He was influential due to his alliance with Ennahda and in 2017 he could have put pressure on that party… to set it up,” he said.

Essebsi also pushed but failed to clinch a vote in parliament for a bill that would equalise inheritance rights between men and women, a sensitive issue touched on in the Koran and which sparked debate.

PM Riadh Ben Fadhel said that Essebsi had wanted this to be his “legacy” but “now it will be very complicated to submit the bill again to parliament.”

 

Tunisia Prepares For Polls After Death Of President

The convoy carrying the body of Former Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi leaves the military hospital in Tunis on July 26, 2019. Essebsi, the country’s first head of state elected in nationwide polls, died Thursday at the age of 92, triggering fears of political unrest in a country seen as a rare success story following the Arab Spring uprisings. PHOTO: Fethi Belaid / AFP

Tunisia has less than two months to organise snap elections following the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi, amid uncertainty over who could step forward to run the North African country.

Essebsi, the country’s first head of state elected in nationwide polls, died Thursday at the age of 92, triggering fears of political unrest in a country seen as a rare success story following the Arab Spring uprisings.

Newspapers on Friday paid tribute to “the father of consensus”, while festivals were cancelled and the government declared seven days of mourning.

“Our pain is great, our sorrow is immense,” read an editorial in French-language daily Le Temps.

Essebsi’s body was set to be taken from the military hospital of Tunis on Friday to the presidential palace in nearby Carthage for a private burial.

Within hours of Essebsi’s death, parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur was sworn in as interim president, who under the constitution has 90 days to organise a presidential election.

The electoral commission said the poll would “probably” be held on September 15, two months earlier than planned.

Foreign governments including that of former colonial power France have hailed Essebsi’s role in Tunisia’s democratic transition, with nearby Algeria and Mauritania declaring three days of mourning.

The main funeral ceremony is to take place on Saturday in the presence of several foreign heads of state, according to Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

Reforms despite turmoil

The birthplace of the Arab Spring revolts, Tunisia is the only country affected by the uprisings to have pushed through democratic reforms — despite political unrest, a sluggish economy and jihadist attacks.

Islamist extremists have staged repeated deadly attacks since the overthrow of Ben Ali, raising fears for the country’s fragile democracy and throttling its tourism industry.

Following Ben Ali’s departure, Essebsi founded the secularist Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunis) party, which he led to victory at the polls in 2014.

The party formed a coalition with the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha, which lasted four years before the two parties split.

But Nidaa Tounes has struggled to overcome bitter internal divisions between premier Chahed and the president’s son, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, leading to the premier being sidelined from Nidaa Tounes and forming his own rival party, Tahia Tounes.

The president’s death also comes amid a debate over who will be able to run in the next presidential elections.

Essebsi neither rejected nor enacted an amended electoral code passed by parliament in June that would bar the way for several strong candidates including media magnate Nabil Karoui.

Karoui, who has formed a political party, was charged with money laundering this month after he stated his intention to stand.

The presidential election, along with a parliamentary vote that had been set for October, also comes despite the fact that eight years after the Arab Spring, Tunisia has yet to set up a constitutional court.

Despite the uncertainty, Chahed hailed a “peaceful transfer of power”, while interim leader Ennaceur vowed that “the state will continue to function”.

“The people are pleased to know that their country is a democratic state, not an emirate,” former parliament speaker Adel Bsili wrote on Twitter.

An editorial in French-language daily La Presse agreed.

“Tunisians… have passed the test to prove to the entire world that Tunisia is a democratic country.”

AFP

Nigeria Moves 12 Spots Up On FIFA Ranking

 

Third Place winners of the African Cup of Nations, Nigeria have moved up 12 spots to become the 33rd position in the latest FIFA Ranking. 

The ranking which was released on Thursday, saw African champions Algeria move up 28 spots to take the 40th position, making them the biggest mover in the July edition by ranks and points (up 117).

Finalist Senegal moved up 2 spaces to take the 20th position, though they did not make a huge leap, they, however, reached their best-ever ranking position.

Madagascar made a surprising leap, the AFCON quarter-finalists clinched the 96th spot, moving up 12 spaces, they are above Benin who moved 6 spaces to take the 82nd position.

READ ALSO: Cameroon Striker Njie Signs For Dynamo Moscow

With the continental finals of Africa, South America and North America and the Caribbean reaching a crescendo in the past month, the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking sees a number of significant changes.

Unsurprisingly, the regional kings are some of the primary beneficiaries in the July update.

New South American champions Brazil (2nd, up 1) leapfrogged France (3rd, down 1) in second place and trail leaders Belgium by a narrow margin of 20 points. Other sides in Copa America action improved their Ranking positions substantially, namely quarter-finalists Uruguay (5th, up 3), Colombia (8th, up 5), and Venezuela (26th, up 7) – who reach their best-ever Ranking position after their run to the last eight. Bronze-medallists Argentina (10th, up 1) complete a quartet of South American teams in the top ten.

While the South American sides dominate the upper echelons of the Ranking, there have been significant gains by sides taking part in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and Concacaf Gold Cup, too.

Concacaf champions Mexico (12th, up 6) and fellow finalist USA (22nd, up 8) made big strides up the table with an honourable mention for surprise semi-finalist Haiti (83rd, up 18).

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 19 September 2019.

FIFA rankings

1. Belgium

2. Brazil (+1)

3. France (-1)

4. England

5. Uruguay (+3)

6. Portugal (-1)

7. Croatia (-1)

8. Colombia (+5)

9. Spain (+2)

10. Argentina (+1)

Selected:

15. Germany (-4)

16. Italy (-2)

= The Netherlands (+2)

40. Algeria (+28)