The Stars shine again

15 years ago

Ghanaian fans might have been disappointed following a drop in rank despite a rather good season of football last year.

However, the rewards of a four-game unbeaten run after the World finals last year and a good start in 2007 has seen Ghana leap six places up to the 22nd position as FIFA releases the February edition of the ranking schedule.

Ghana would be all smiles on Valentine Day as the four-time African champions have improved on the African continent, jumping to the third position.

February’s ranking recorded larger losses amongst big African teams. Cameroon (17th, down 6), Nigeria (36th, down 27), Egypt (42nd, down 23), Tunisia (45th, down 13) and Guinea (62nd, down 40) all slip down the ranking.

Ghana has a total point build up of 848 after bagging 20 in January.

After starting the 2007 at the 28th position, the 4-1 thrashing of Nigeria this month in Ghana’s first international game of the year has contributed positively to the rise.

On the African continent, Ghana is now third best with Cameroon in pole position followed by the Ivory Coast.

Mali are fourth on the table. Nigeria who started the year as Africa’s top side have dropped to the fifth position followed by Senegal.

Since the new method of calculating the ranking was adopted in July 2006, Ghana have seen an inconsistent drop despite recording good results.

According to FIFA, country’s who do not participate in any of the competitive major tournaments or qualifying series at the senior level drop valuable points.

Ghana, by virtue of being host of the 2008 African Cup of Nations are not taking part in the continent’s qualifying campaign and have thus been affected by the calculations.

February’s ranking took into account only 87 new matches – with 74 of the games being friendlies while the remaining 13 games classed as continental qualifiers (Gold Cup, UEFA EURO 2008).

Nevertheless, Italy have ended Brazil’s remarkable 55-month run at the top.

The 2006 World Cup winners have toppled Brazil to reclaim the top position for the first time since November 1993.

Brazil are second followed by Argentina, France and Germany.5033669709