No changes at the top in FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
Iraq the big climbers
There are no changes to record at the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The gap between Brazil and Argentina, however, is so tight that the forthcoming FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers in South America could easily lead to a change in leader. Italy, France and Germany are next in line whereas Croatia (6th, up 1) and the Netherlands (7th, down 1) have swapped places and the Czech Republic (9 th, up 2) have returned to the top 10 after an absence of a month. The biggest climbers in August, however, hail from Asia. The continent’s newly crowned champions, Iraq (64 th), have jumped up 16 places after reaping 76 points on the strength of their magnificent feat in the Asian Cup. Korea Republic are perched even higher up the ladder (50 th, up 8) alongside Asian Cup finalists Saudi Arabia (51 st, up 10), who garnered even more points than the Iraqis. The most talked about match in the past four weeks was Saudi Arabia’s victory over ousted Asian champions Japan (41 st, down 5), who remain Asia’s top ranking team ahead of Iran and Australia despite having suffered a few defeats. Other teams who have leapfrogged ten or more places are Guyana (90th, up 10), the United Arab Emirates (96 th, up 10) as well as four associations outside the top 100: Namibia (114 th), India (151st), Vanuatu (167 th) and New Caledonia (168th). Three European teams – Bosnia- Herzegovina, Northern Ireland and Croatia – are in the hunt for the “Best Mover of the Year” title (based on the number of points gained since the beginning of the year), all of whom have either improved on or equalised their best ever world ranking position in August.