Germany return to top of FIFA rankings

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ZURICH, Sept 14 (AGENCIES): World champions Germany pushed Brazil back into second place to return to the top of the FIFA rankings, which was published on Thursday.

Germany’s 2-1 win away to the Czech Republic and their 6-0 drubbing of Norway in the World Cup qualifiers lifted them over the already-qualified Brazil, who dropped points in a draw away to Colombia.

European champions Portugal climbed three places to third — even though they are second in their World Cup qualifying group behind Switzerland.

In another surprise, Argentina are fourth in the rankings despite struggling to qualify for the World Cup after drawing their last two games – away to Uruguay and at home to Venezuela.

War-torn Syria, who have reached the Asian playoff stage in the World Cup qualifiers despite playing their ‘home’ World Cup qualifiers in Malaysia because of the security situation in the country, rose to their highest-ever ranking of 75.

Three other teams reached their best-ever place – Peru (12th), Northern Ireland (20th) and Luxemburg (101st) after they held France to a 0-0 draw away.

The rankings made disappointing reading for Asia with only three sides in the top 50 – Iran, Japan and Australia.

The next FIFA rankings will be announced on Oct. 16 and used to determine the seedings in the draw for the four European playoff ties for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.

Meanwhile, India are ranked 107th in the most recent edition of the Fifa Men’s Rankings, slipping 10 places from the 97th place that they had held prior to the Tri-Nation Series last month.

The 1-1 draw against 160th-ranked St Kitts and Nevis in Mumbai cost the Blue Tigers dearly as Stephen Constantine’s men earned 63.75 points for the fixture, bringing their average ranking points down sharply.

While the wins over Mauritius and Macau yielded maximum points, the slip-up against St Kitts cost the team 25 points, as they now have 316, as opposed to 341.

Top 10 rankings: (previous positions in brackets) 1. Germany (2) 2. Brazil (1) 3. Portugal (6) 4. Argentina (3) 5. Belgium (9) 6. Poland (5) 7. Switzerland (4) 8. France (10) 9. Chile (7) 10. Colombia (8)




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