HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN!

By Izuchukwu Okosi

The Super Eagles have plummeted in the latest FIFA ranking released on Thursday by the Federation of International
Football Federation (FIFA) and are now ranked below countries like Cape Verde, Uganda and Benin Republic.

Nigeria went nine places behind and are now ranked 70th in the world with 514 points after being ranked 61st in the
previous ranking with 559 points.

The rankings by FIFA was released on Thursday and not the first Thursday of July (7th) so the European teams could be
ranked after the European Championship in France. according to the latest release by the world governing body on
Thursday.

The Eagles subsequently dropped to 17th in Africa while Algeria remain top on the continent and 32nd in the world.
Cameroon are seventh in Africa and 53rd in the world. Zambia are the lowest ranked team in Nigeria’s World Cup
qualifying group. The Chipolopolo are 88th in the world and 23rd in Africa with 385 points. They also dropped nine
places.

Despite losing to Chile in the final of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, Argentina remained the world’s best team
according to FIFA.  Belgium lost out to Wales in the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 but are still the number 2 in the world.

Colombia, Germany and South American champions Chile make up the rest of the top five. European champions Portugal movedup two places to sixth. Euro 2016 hosts France moved into seventh place from 10th position in their June ranking. Italy previously ranked 12th took up the 10th place. Uruguay and Austria were the two biggest teams to exit the top 10.

New Zealand emerged as the month’s biggest climbers by ranks, moving up a whopping 54 places to 93rd on the back of an OFC Nations Cup victory that both qualified the All Whites for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and furthered their FIFA
World Cup qualifying ambitions.

Wales inspired by Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale were the biggest movers by points, moving up with 291 points. Kosovo was the latest team to be ranked.  A total of 228 matches played in the time under review was considered.