SA move up six places to 74th on FIFA World Rankings


File: Bafana Bafana squad members take a breather during a training session.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has moved up six places to 74th spot in the world on the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Monday.

Their recent 3-1 win over Burkina Faso in a World Cup qualifier was significant in the upward move.

The latest rankings also show that South Africa is 16th on the African continent.

At the top end of the rankings, Peru has climbed into the top ten for the first time in an edition marked by the recent, decisive FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Peruvians, who qualified for an Intercontinental playoff against New Zealand, were joined in the ranking’s upper echelons by Spain, who climbed from 11th to eighth on the back of an impressive conclusion to their unbeaten qualifying campaign.

As a result of the latest ranking, Pot 1 for the Russia 2018 draw on 1 December has been decided. Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France make up the top-seeded teams.

The ranking table makes pleasant reading for many European nations, with Germany holding on to top spot and France (7, up 1), England (12, up 3), Denmark (19, up 7), Scotland (29, up 14) and Austria (39, up 18) among others making significant gains. 

The Austrians are one of four new entries to the top 50, where they are joined by Czech Republic (46, up 12), Morocco (48, up 8) and World Cup qualifying sensations Panama (49, up 11). That shake-up has left UEFA with 28 teams in the top 50, up one on last month, a rise that comes at the expense of CONMEBOL, who drop down to eight.