15 February 2013

Zambia Drops On Fifa Rankings

DETHRONED African champions, Zambia have dropped eight rungs on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola world ranking while new continental kings, Nigeria leapt 22 places on the global chart.

According to the February rankings released yesterday, Zambia slumped to 47th in the world and seventh in Africa after failing to reach the knock out stage at the just-ended 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in South Africa.

Last month, the Chipolopolo, who drew all three Group C matches at the 2013 AFCON, were rated 39th in the world and fifth on the continent.

After winning the 2013 AFCON championship which was their third overall, Nigeria climbed 22 places to 30th in the world - their best ranking since August 2010.

Nigeria, who also ended their 19-year drought in South Africa since they last won the AFCON, also shot to the fourth position on the continent.

Surprise 2013 AFCON package and losing finalists, Burkina Faso moved up a massive 37 places to 55th globally and ninth in Africa while hosts, South Africa moved some significant 25 rungs up to 60th and 10th on the continent.

Despite failing for the umpteenth time to lift the AFCON, 1992 winners, Ivory Coast shockingly achieved their best-ever world ranking - 12th - and remained Africa's top-rated side.

Ghana also maintained the second place in Africa but moved seven places up in the world to 19th.

Mali, who claimed the second consecutive AFCON bronze medal, are still third in Africa and 35th in the world while Algeria and Tunisia are fifth and sixth, respectively on the continent.

Cape Verde, who made an AFCON debut this year, shot seven places up the ladder to 63rd in the world and 13th in Africa.

World and European champions, Spain continued reigning supreme ahead of Germany, Argentina and England in the top four.

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