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Nigeria drops a place in latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Morocco, Mali among African climbers

Super Eagles of Nigeria

THUR 18 FEB, 2021-theGBJournal- Nigeria drops one place to rank 36 in the first FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of 2021. Nigeria now ranks fifth in the continent. The top four ahead of Nigeria are Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

A total of 43 full internationals (including one played in December 2020) were taken into account in the ranking. The standout tournament in recent weeks has been the African Nations Championship (CHAN), where a total of 32 games took place.

These fixtures as well as the other 11 games played have been classified as friendlies, because only players competing in the national championships of the participating countries are eligible to take part in the CHAN.

In the standings, CHAN winners Morocco (33rd, +2), and runners-up Mali (54th, +3) have made the most progress. Third-placed Guinea (72nd, +1) and quarter-finalists Congo (90th, +1) have also advanced.

Other teams moving in the right direction include Costa Rica (50th,+1), currently back in the Top 50 after an absence of several months, Cape Verde (80th, +1), Oman (81st, +1), Benin (82nd, +1), Azerbaijan (108th, +1), Estonia (108th, +1), Thailand (110th, +1), Guinea-Bissau (119th, +1), Tajikistan (120th, +1) and Guatemala (130th, +1).

Those teams aside, no other country has enhanced its position since December, and the Top 32 places in the standings remain unchanged since the end of 2020. Belgium, France, Brazil, England and Portugal continue to occupy the top spots, with the leading trio of Belgium, France and Brazil only separated by 37 points.

The fight for top spot promises to be an exciting one this year with a string of major tournaments scheduled (Copa America, UEFA EURO and CONCACAF Gold Cup) as well as the resumption of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 8 April 2021.

Leader    Belgium (unchanged)

Moves into top 10    none

Moves out of top 10    none

Matches played in total    43 (one of which in 2020)

Most matches played    Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Morocco (6 matches each)

Biggest move by points    Morocco (plus 7 points)

Biggest move by ranks    Mali (plus 3 ranks)

Biggest drop by points    Uganda (minus 6 points)

Biggest drop by ranks    Uganda, Zimbabwe (minus 4 ranks each)

Newly ranked teams    none

Teams that are no longer ranked    none

Inactive teams, not ranked    Cook Islands

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