USA extend lead
The latest edition of the FIFA Women’s World Ranking shows that Olympic champions USA now hold a healthy lead over world champions Germany, the Americans having increased their points tally on the back of comfortable victories over Mexico and particularly over neighbouring Canada. For Germany, however, recent wins in the preliminary competition of the UEFA Women’s Championship have failed to atone for a rather disappointing Algarve Cup campaign.
Sweden (3rd, up1) and Norway (4th, down 1) trade places, with the Swedes climbing thanks to a victory over Italy and the Norwegians slipping slightly after as home draw with Finland. China (11th, unchanged) miss out on a return to the top ten following defeat at the hands of Argentina, who in turn climb three places to 29th. Two victories in the Asian Olympic qualifiers also see Thailand (33rd, up 7) make significant progress.
June’s ranking is the final edition before this year’s main event, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in September, when there will be much to play for, including the top spot in the ranking and the other places in the top ten. Given the closeness of the team in this month’s table, some movement is to be expected.
According to FIFA’s Big Count survey in 2006, 26 million women and girls around the world currently play football.