England drop to 12th in FIFA world rankings

November 23, 2007

England have fallen to 12th place in FIFA's world ranking - meaning they miss out on being among the top seeds for the World Cup qualifying draw on Sunday.

The defeat by Croatia has led to England being leapfrogged by Greece and they are no longer among the top nine countries in Europe who will be in the pot of top seeds for the draw.

Scotland have also dropped one place to 14th, meaning they will also be among the group of second seeds.

England's fall in world ranking means that the first task of Steve McClaren's successor, that of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, is now much tougher.

The drop comes despite England gaining some ranking points from their victory over Austria last week - the fact it was a friendly means the points gained were far fewer than those won by Greece, who enjoyed two victories in European qualifying matches within the last week.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland have risen four places to 32nd in the world and have overtaken the Republic of Ireland, who drop to three places to 35th.

Wales' ranking remains unchanged in 58th spot.

Argentina continue as the top-ranked country despite their 2-1 defeat by Colombia, but Brazil and Italy have closed the gap.

Spain have risen two places to fourth in the world and the Czech Republic three places to sixth.

Big moves include South Africa up 25 places to 77th and Belarus, whose 2-1 win over Holland in midweek sees them rise 34 places to 60th.

FIFA world rankings: 1 Argentina 1523pts (0 position change), 2 Brazil 1502 (0), 3 Italy 1498 (0), 4 Spain 1349 (+2), 5 Germany 1296 (0), 6 Czech Republic 1290 (+3), 7 France 1243 (-3 ), 8 Portugal 1241 (0), 9 Holland 1170 (-2), 10 Croatia 1129 (0), 11 Greece 1114 (+3), 12 England 1113 (-1), 13 Romania 1088 (-1), 14 Scotland 990 (-10), 15 Mexico 985 (0).

Others: 32 Northern Ireland 780 (+4); 35 Republic of Ireland 731 (-3); Wales 560 (0).