The Super Eagles of Nigeria have dropped seven places in the FIFA rankings published in the early hours of today. The three-time African champions maintained their position in May, the last time the rating was released. However, that changed this time as there were international friendlies.
The Super Eagles dropped from third to 5th in the continent and 34th spot globally. The Gernot Rohr lads polled 1480 points to sit 34th in the world and fifth in Africa in the ranking released on Thursday.
Nigeria failed to win any of their three international games, losing twice and settling for a draw once. The team’s results against Cameroon in recent friendlies and the NPFL stars’ loss to Mexico did not help the country’s international rating.
- A mainly experimental Super Eagles fell 1-0 to the Indomitable Lions in a first friendly in Austria, before they held the same team to a scoreless draw in a rematch days later.
- A team of players from the NPFL will then be thrashed 4-0 by Mexico in another friendly in Los Angeles, USA, recently.
Nigeria’s highest-ranking position till date was 5th position in April 1994, while her lowest was 82nd in November 1999.
FIFA Ranking in Africa
The Super Eagles are now ranked fifth in Africa behind Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Senegal is ranked first in Africa and 21st in the world with 1545 points, while Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles are now 28th globally and second in Africa after accruing 1515 points.
It was a case of mixed fortunes for the Eagles’ Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying group opponents. While Liberia moved up three spots to 150, the Central Africa Republic and Cape Verde dropped to 123rd and 77th positions respectively.
Globally, Belgium retained the top spot, while Euro 2020 winners Italy moved up into the top five behind runners-up England. In sixth place is Argentina, the seventh spot has Spain while Portugal, Mexico, and the USA are eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
The consequence of this fall
The Super Eagles risk losing top seedings at the AFCON and 2022 World Cup qualifiers after they dropped to 34th in the latest FIFA Ranking. The FIFA Rankings are now crucial as they will be one of the yardsticks used to seed teams for next year’s AFCON in Cameroon as well as for the final 2022 World Cup playoffs in March.
What is the FIFA World Ranking?
The men’s FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for men’s national teams. The teams of the men’s member nations of FIFA are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. A points system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of all FIFA-recognised full international matches. The rankings were introduced in December 1992.
Rankings are published monthly, usually on a Thursday. The deadline for the matches to be considered is usually the Thursday before the release date. The next rankings will be published on 16 September 2021. The ranking dates are 18 February, 7 April, 27 May, 12 August, 16 September, 21 October, 25 November, and 16 December.
Importance of the Ranking
The rankings are used by FIFA to rate the progression and current ability of the national football teams of its member nations, and claims that they create “a reliable measure for comparing national A-teams”.They are used as part of the calculation to seed competitions – this means that this ranking will determine how teams are placed in groups for any FIFA organized competition.