By Fred Vubem Toh ~ CT
After having been on a free-fall for a long time, Cameroon finally started its upward movement on the FIFA World ranking. Cameroon gained five places in the latest ranking published yesterday, July 4th, moving from the 64th position to the 59th. Cameroon also gained two places at the continental level moving from the 13th to the 11th position. The progress can be attributed to the qualification of the Lions for the last qualifying series of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and victory against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
At the world level, Spain increased their lead at the summit thanks to their victory at the recent European football cup in Poland and Ukraine. Their Euro 2012 final victims, Italy, climbed to the 6th position while Brazil fell out of the top ten for the first time in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking history.
The first team on the African continent remains Cote d’Ivoire thanks to their good start in both the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana, Algeria, Libya and Mali retained the second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively while the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners, Zambia, gained two places on the world ranking moving from the 43rd to the 41st position and conserved the 6th position at the continental level. Central African Republic’s victory over Egypt helps them move up 20 places in the latest Fifa rankings up to number 16 on the continent.
Thanks to their surprising victory at the OFC Nations Cup, Tahiti made the greatest progress, climbing 41 spots to currently occupy 138th and securing their spot in next year’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The Netherlands, on the other hand, slipped down from the 4th to the 8th position. The classification was done on the basis of a total of 133 international ‘A’ matches played in recent weeks; comprising 31 Euro 2012 matches, 60 qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, 15 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and 27 friendlies.