World soccer governing body, FIFA is under fire from Nigerian soccer fans, following the latest football rankings that place the Super Eagles 46th on the global scale, two spots lower than 44th in the previous log.
Though the Eagles remain Africa’s fourth best team in the latest rankings released by FIFA on Thursday, footballlive.ng learnt that huge shocks and startling reactions emanated from Nigerians, with heated debate again trailing the log, as soccer followers continue to doubt the figures.
Considering that the Eagles have qualified for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations with a game to spare, many fans and pundits share a view that Nigeria’s placement on the cards should be higher than it is at present, talk less of going further down from 44th in the previous month.
Still ahead of Nigeria in Africa are Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco, while Democratic Republic of Congo, in fifth place, complete the continent’s top-five countries in the latest global football rankings.
The Eagles next opponent, for their last match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Seychelles, who will be in Asaba on March 23rd, are 189th, while the AFCON 2019 hosts, Egypt, who Nigeria play March 26th at same venue in an international friendly, are 57th.
Unlike the uncanny slump Nigeria keep facing every month, Qatar moved up to 55th in the FIFA world rankings following their victory at the Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
The 2022 World Cup host won all seven of their matches at the continental championships, beating four-time winners Japan 3-1 in the final and conceding only one goal in the tournament.
Wins over Saudi Arabia, Iraq and South Korea on the way to the final helped their ranking jump from 93 to 55.
However, the Qataris are still only the fifth-highest ranked team in the Asian Football Confederation, behind Iran (22nd), Japan (27th), South Korea (38th) and Australia (42nd).
Belgium, France, Brazil, Croatia and England are the world’s top five teams in that order.
This means tere are no changes to the top 20 due to a lack of fixtures involving European and South American teams, as Belgium remain the world’s number one ranked side, ahead of World Cup winners France in second and Brazil in third.
England stay in fifth, behind World Cup finalists Croatia. Wales remain in 19th, the Republic of Ireland drop one place to 34th, Northern Ireland drop one spot to 36th and Scotland move down two places to 40th.