Top 30 finish for Ghana

15 years ago

FIFA on Monday ended the year’s ranking schedule with four-time African champions, Ghana finishing amongst the top 30 nations in the world with an accumulated 816 points.

December’s ranking schedule placed Ghana at the 28th position.

Ghana, after a relative success at the World Cup have chalked impressive results winning three and drawing one game in a series of international friendly games against fellow World Cup participants.

By virtue of being host of the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Ghana will not take part in any competitive qualifying campaign.

And this has affected Ghana’s position on the ranking table – dropping five places down the pecking order after the World Cup to the 28th place.

The decline can be explained as a result of the revision in the criteria adopted by FIFA to rank teams.

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.

“Because we do not want to jeopardise the desired transparency and also to take account of the fact that host nations have the advantage of automatic qualification in any case.

“The host nations of major tournaments only contest friendly match for a certain period. As a result, they may fall in the world ranking,” FIFA explains on their website.

However on the African continent, Ghana managed to hold onto the 6th position it held as at the last ranking schedule.

Nigeria ended the year as Africa’s top side. Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Egypt follow in that order.

On the World stage, Brazil For the fifth time in succession, Brazil have been crowned Team of the Year, pipping world champions Italy at the post for the top award.

The total of 788 international matches played this year represents the highest figure ever in a FIFA World Cup year, but still lags far behind the 1,000 plus internationals contested in both 2000 and 2004.

There are still many matches waiting to be played by the end of the year, especially in Asia, to boost the final figure.