Super Falcons yesterday dropped from 36th position to 39th in the latest Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) women’s world ranking released yesterday.
The African champions, who failed to secure a place in next year’s football event of the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, dropped in points from 1643 to 1614, but still retain the spot as the most ranked country in Africa.
USA will finish this year as the one number ranked country with 2174 points, followed by Germany (2078) and The Netherlands (2035) in the third position.
Brazil was able to leapfrog over Japan (11th), and Korea Democratic Republic (12th) to themselves in their familiar terrain as they eventually made it to the top 10 after dropping out in September for the first time in FIFA’s ranking history.
The big moves took place further down the ladder and reflected the fact that CAF and CONCACAF’s Olympic qualifiers have produced the most significant recent upsets.
In the latter region, St Kitts and Nevis’s (127th, up to seven) stunning away victory in Trinidad and Tobago (72nd, down 11) provided the biggest points haul and took the victors through to the final stage of Concacaf’s Tokyo 2020 preliminaries.
Shockwaves were also sent across women’s football by Kenya (133rd, up 10) beating traditional African powerhouses Ghana (60th, down 10) over two legs. The scale of that surprise is reflected in the change in both teams’ ranking, while Congo DR (108th, up 10) – who also enjoyed a double-digit rise – were rewarded for an equally unlikely home win over Cameroon.
This latest edition provides cause for celebration, too, for six countries who improve on their erstwhile record positions, with Belgium (17th, up 1), Chile (36th, up 1), Papua New Guinea (46th, up 1), Slovenia (50th, up 3), Panama (53rd, up 3) and Fiji (65th, up 3) all reaching new highs.