Monday, August 28, 2006

FIFA World Ranking : Iran move up 2 spots

With only 24 'A' international matches played in the past month, August's FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking sees no change in the top 15. Brazil lead, with Italy (2nd), Argentina (3rd), France (4th) and England (5th) completing the top 5.

Noticeable changes occur further down the ranking; Mexico (16th, up 2) make their mark as top CONCACAF team, whilst rivals USA fall seven places to 23rd. Several other teams from the North and Central American and Caribbean region also slide down the ranking, namely Honduras (81st, down 43), Canada (82nd, down 28) and Panama (98th, down 39), mainly due to the devaluation of significant 2005 Gold Cup matches in the calculation over the past few weeks.

Teams making a welcome return to the top 50 are Norway (49th, up 3) and Guatemala (50th, up 3), the Central Americans marking their best ever ranking position this month. Other noteworthy winners in August, climbing more than ten places, are Qatar (64th, up 12), Guyana (120th, up 11), Namibia (137th, up 30) and the Dominican Republic (171st, up 15).

The revised ranking calculation, introduced for the first time in July 2006, has led to more movement in the ranking table. Key factors having an effect include the reduction in time period evaluated from eight years to four, the weighting of point-laden FIFA World Cup™ matches and the more intense devaluation rate of matches that are more than a year old.

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