This recent progress will be credited to the Super Eagles performance at the African Nations Championship, CHAN in Rwanda, regardless of the fact that the team was cut-out in the group stage after beating Niger 4 – 1, drawing with Tunisia 1 – 1 and losing to Guinea 1 – 0 in the final group match.
Having finished the 2015 year in 66th position, the three-time African Nations Cup, AFCON champions quest of making the top four in the Africa rankings, in order to avoid being grouped against the continents toughest teams ahead of the final phase of the FIFA World Cup in Russia could still be achieved.
Ivory Coast still remain the continent’s highest ranked team in Africa as the Elephants are ranked 28th in the world while Nigeria’s opponent in the forthcoming double-header match, Egypt are ranked 55th and eighth in Africa.
Belgium, Argentina and Spain hold their increasingly familiar top three slots while Hungary (19, plus 1) and Turkey (20, plus 1) enter the top 20 thanks to Ivory Coast’s exit (28, minus 9). Hungary’s small increase comes with a massive celebration; Hungary have reached their best ever position since the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was introduced in 1993.
The FIFA rankings are expected to be one of the things to consider when the draw for the final round of the qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup is done in June.
Teams will be drawn in five groups to play on home and away basis with the overall group winners qualifying for the World Cup in Russia.