5 July 2012

Gambia Drop 20 Places in Lastest FIFA Rankings

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
Didier Drogba celebrates a goal (file photo).

The Gambia have dropped 20 places in the lastest Coca-Cola FIFA World Rankings released by football's world governing body on Wednesday. The Scorpions who were ranked 108 in the world for the month of June are now the 128th side in the world while they also dropped 12 places in Africa to 40th.

The Scorpions massive drop in the latest release is attributed to their run of five international games without a win stretching back to August of last year when they defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo 3-0 in a friendly.

Since then, the Gambia have drawn 1-1 with both Morocco and Burkina Faso in Banjul and suffered a humiliating 6-2 aggregate defeat to the Desert Foxes of Algeria and a demoralishing 2-1 loss to Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. A 4-1 defeat in Algeria last month was the country's biggest loss in international football for 16 years.

Ivory Coast remained Africa's highest ranked side maintaining their 16th place ranking from the month of June followed by Ghana in second place while Algeria following their demolition of The Gambia is 3rd in Africa and 35th in the world. Mali and Zambia rounded up the top five for Africa.

Elsewhere, Spain have managed to extend their lead significantly by defending their European title, while finalists Italy (6th, up 6) have also been richly rewarded for their performances in Poland and Ukraine with a return to the top ten. Defeated semi-finalists Portugal (5th, up 5) and Germany (2nd, up 1) have equally seen improvements in their positions, as have England (4th, up 2), Greece (12th, up 3), Czech Republic (18th, up 9) and hosts Poland (54th, up 8) and Ukraine (46th, up 6).

The Netherlands, on the other hand, have slipped down (8th, down 4), while Brazil (11th, down 6), currently sit in their lowest position since the start of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Thanks to their surprising victory at the OFC Nations Cup, Eddy Etaeta's Tahiti have made great progress, climbing 41 spots to currently occupy 138th and securing their spot in next year's FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

A total of 133 international 'A' matches have been played in recent weeks, made up of 31 EURO 2012 matches, 60 qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, 15 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and 27 friendlies. All of these contests have clearly reshuffled the global ladder, with only 22 of the 208 ranked teams holding their position from the previous month, while 85 teams have moved up the table and 101 have dropped at least one place.

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