The "Big Five" of women's football - Germany, USA, Norway, Sweden and China PR - continue to lead the way at the top of the Women's World Ranking. In the top 10, France (7th, up 2) are the only team to improve their position, while Korea DPR (8th) and Denmark (9th) both fall one place. The Olympic Football Tournament in August, nearly a year after the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, should result in some more movement at the top.
The main movers - down as well as up - in the latest ranking, however, are all from Europe. Greece (53rd, up 4) are gearing up to host the 2004 Olympic Football Tournament and are also on the verge of breaking into the top 50, while Slovakia (40th, down 3), on the other hand, are on the slide after failing to win their last two qualifiers for the 2005 UEFA Women's Championship.
Nigeria (25th, up 2) also make progress on the back of their qualification for the Olympics, while Mexico (26th, down 1), who will be making their Olympic debut in Athens, lose ground as a result of a 0-3 defeat at the hands of the USA.
The 115 teams in the Women's World Ranking are evaluated on a number of factors, including match results, home advantage, the significance of a match and the strength of the opposition. The ranking is published four times per year.
According to the "Big Count" study published by FIFA in 2001, 22 million women and girls around the world play football. A total of 99 teams participated in the preliminary competition for the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.
- The next FIFA Women's World Ranking will be published on 3 September 2004.