Asians soar as Colombia go outright sixth
© AFP

The latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking reveals very few changes in the upper reaches, with Spain continuing to hold a comfortable lead at the top over Germany and Argentina.

However, Colombia have assumed outright sixth place on the global ladder – a position they shared with Portugal, who drop down a slot.

The main changes are to be found lower down the Ranking, as the opening qualifiers for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 in the Maldives have seen a number of teams earn an impressive number of points.

Afghanistan have climbed 48 places to 141st on the back of victories over Sri Lanka (173rd, up 20) and Mongolia (178th, up 3) as well as a draw against Laos (168th, up 5). The Afghans are now in their best-ever position and have qualified for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 together with Palestine (150th, up 3) and Myanmar (155th, up 9).

Another team to have gained ground is India (143rd, up 24), even though they have not yet qualified for the Challenge Cup and are now relying on help from other teams in the remaining group matches.

A total of 18 ‘A’ international matches have been taken into account for the March edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Virtually all of the games in recent weeks have been played in the AFC, with 15 of the 18 games being AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.

This takes the total number of ‘A’ international matches played in 2013 so far to 155.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 11 April 2013.


Summary

Leader

Spain (unchanged)

Moves into top ten

none

Moves out of top ten

none

Matches played in total

18

Most matches played

Afghanistan, India, Myanmar, Laos, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Mongolia (3 matches each)

Biggest move by points

Afghanistan (up 151 points)

Biggest move by ranks

Afghanistan (up 48 ranks)

Biggest drop by points

Sudan (down 102 points)

Biggest drop by ranks

Sudan (down 23 ranks)