Nigeria drops 7 places on FIFA world rankings to 59
Nigeria has dropped seven places to 59 from 52 on the monthly FIFA rankings, according to the November rankings released on Thursday by world football governing body FIFA.
The three-times African champions who accumulated 582 points, down from the previous 600, consequently dropped to 12th on the continent.
Cote D’Ivoire still top the rankings on the continent, with Algeria, Ghana, Cape Verde Islands, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon, Congo Guinea, Congo DR and Egypt, following in that order, ahead of Nigeria.
Belgium top the world rankings for the first time in history, with the Red Devils jumping two places to replace previous leaders Argentina who are now third.
World champions Germany kept their second place, while the biggest climbers in the top 10 are Chile who are now fifth, having moved up four places.
England, who are ninth after moving up one place, and Austria who are 10th after moving up one rung, have each made slight progress.
Interestingly, this is the first time Belgium, Chile and Austria have ever reached such heights on the global ladder.
Six teams have leapt by 10 places or more in the top 50 this month, including Turkey (18th, up 19), Bosnia and Herzegovina (20th, up 10) and Ecuador (21st, up 10).
Others are Republic of Ireland (42nd, up 12), Paraguay (47th, up 14), and Serbia (49th, up 14).
Four teams have improved their ranking by over 30 places, and these include Chad (136th, up 39), who are Nigeria’s group opponents in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.
The others are Cyprus (76th, up 38), Sao Tome e Principe (157th, up 36) and Turkmenistan (121st, up 34).
However, the composition of the top 50 for November 2015 shows little change, with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) gaining two teams.
This was through Korea Republic (48th, up 5) and Japan (50th, up 5).
Africa however lost two, with Cameroon and Congo each having dropped three places to 51st and 52nd respectively.
The other confederations have the same number of teams as last month.
The regional composition of the top 50 now looking as follows: UEFA: 31; CONMEBOL: 7; CAF: 6; CONCACAF: 3; AFC: 3; OFC: 0.
The last FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of 2015 will be published on Dec. 3 and it can see Belgium take the “Team of the Year’’ title, should it retain its top spot.
The ‘Mover of the Year’ will be awarded to the team which has gained the most points in 2015.
Current contenders for this are Turkey (up 430 points), Chile (up 331 points), Wales (up 330 points) and Austria (up 319 points).
However, with various matches and qualifiers due to take place over the coming weeks, the positions are still all to play for.
A total of 172 international ‘A’ matches have been taken into account in the November edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
This brought the total number of matches evaluated so far this year to 840.
Qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016 (50 matches) and the 2018 FIFA World Cup (66 matches) played a significant role in some of the major changes to this month’s instalment.
Below is a summary of significant changes in the rankings:
Leader —– Belgium (up 2)
Moves into top ten —– Austria (10th, up 1)
Moves out of top ten —— Wales (15th, down 7)
Matches played in total —— 172
Most matches played —— Ethiopia (5 matches)
Biggest move by points —— Turkey (up 224 points)
Biggest move by ranks —— Chad (up 39 ranks)
Biggest drop by points ——- Wales (down 163 points)
Biggest drop by ranks ——- Sudan (down 44 ranks)