India jump 24 spots to 143rd in FIFA-rankings, Afghanistan 141st

Despite an unimpressive performance in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifiers, India jumped 24 places and are ranked 143 in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday.

India, winners of AFC Challenge Cup in 2008, have not yet qualified for the Challenge Cup and are now relying on help from other teams in the remaining group matches. They may qualify if they manage to feature among the two best second-placed team from four groups.

However, India are still ranked two places behind neighbours Afghanistan, who have been the most impressive team in the FIFA rankings.

Afghanistan have climbed 48 places to 141st on the back of victories over Sri Lanka (173rd, up 20) and Mongolia (178th, up 3) as well as a draw against Laos (168th, up 5).

The Afghans are now in their best-ever position and have qualified for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 together with Palestine (150th, up 3) and Myanmar (155th, up 9).
Meanwhile, the latest edition of the FIFA World Ranking reveals very few changes in the upper ranks, with Spain continuing to hold a comfortable lead at the top over Germany and Argentina.

However, Colombia have assumed outright sixth place on the global ladder - a position they shared with Portugal, who drop down a slot.

Ivory Coast remain Africa's top-ranked team as they dropped one place to No.13. Japan rose two spots to No.26 and are the leaders among the Asian teams.

A total of 18 ‘A’ international matches have been taken into account for the March edition of the FIFA World Ranking. Virtually all of the games in recent weeks have been played in the AFC, with 15 of the 18 games being AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. This takes the total number of ‘A’ international matches played in 2013 so far to 155.

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