Zambia have shot up 28 places in
the FIFA rankings, breaking into the top 50 for the first time
in eleven years after winning the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
The Chipolopolo (The Copper Bullets) moved into 43rd spot,
their highest position since February 2001, after beating Ivory
Coast on penalties following a goalless final in Libreville.
Despite losing the decider, Ivory Coast climbed three places
to 15th and are the continent's highest-placed team. The
Elephants did not concede a goal in the tournament.
Mali, who finished third, moved up 25 places to 44th, one
ahead of co-hosts Gabon, who leapt 46 places after reaching the
quarter-finals with wins over Niger and Morocco.
Fellow co-hosts Equatorial Guinea, a team made up largely of
Spanish lower league players, leapt from 151st to 110th after
surpassing all expectations by reaching the quarter-finals.
Spain stayed top of the rankings while Germany moved up to
second and Netherlands dropped to third even though neither side
played a game in the last month.
FIFA said the change was "due to the devaluation of matches
from previous years."
Similarly, Brazil dropped to seventh and Portugal moved up
to sixth while Argentina dropped out of the top 10, losing
their place to Denmark.
Rankings (last month's positions in brackets)
1. (1) Spain
2. (3) Germany
3. (2) Netherlands
4. (4) Uruguay
5. (5) England
6. (7) Portugal
7. (6) Brazil
8. (9) Italy
9. (8) Croatia
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