By Ben Efe
Nigeria dropped eight places on the FIFA World rankings for February, which was released yesterday. But Ghana moved up a step to replace Egypt as the top African nation.
Egypt currently engulfed in political tumoil, plummeted from the 10th position to 33rd on the global rankings. There was no movement among the top five. World champions Spain lead the pack followed by Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Argentina.
The sharp drop by Egypt, Nigeria and others on the African listing was because of their inactivity. Egypt has not played any friendly since their back-to-back win of the Africa Nations Cup, while Nigeria have only played their friendly matches on the pages of newspapers.
The Black Stars ranked 15th thus top the African rankings for the first time since May 2008. Cote’ d Ivoire moved five places down to the 26th spot. They are second on the continent. Egypt are third while Nigeria retained the fourth position. Burkina Faso at 41 displaced Algeria from the African top five. The Desert foxes dropped from 36 to 55.
There was brighter news for South Africa who for the first time in five years have climbed four places to occupy 47th position, behind Cameroon and Guinea who are perched at the 43rd and 46th places respectively.
The next Fifa rankings will be released on Wednesday 9 March.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles will now tackle Sierra
Leone in a friendly next week Wednesday after a proposed game with Guatemala in the United States was called off.
Chairman of the technical committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Green, said the Guatemala match has been cancelled because the match organisers feared incurring a huge loss.
“The organisers were apprehensive of the goings_on in Nigeria as regards a FIFA ban after football matters were again taken back to regular courts,” Green said.
Eagles now to play Sierra Leone
There have been huge doubts over the Guatemala game, but the NFF insisted last week that all arrangements for the encounter had been concluded.
Officials have now disclosed Sierra Leone will replace Guatemala on the FIFA friendly day window with the game likely to be played in Lagos.
Media reports suggested that the country’s top Euro_based stars have been contacted to rearrange their travel plans and now fly into Nigeria for this match.