Bafana fall further in Fifa rankings

ZURICH - Argentina have returned to the top of Fifa's world rankings after winning their first two qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup.

ZURICH - Argentina have returned to the top of Fifa's world rankings after winning their first two qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup.

South Africa's Bafana Bafana, on the other hand, have plummeted to an all time low of 83, way below even the so-called African football minnows.

The South Americans secured 2-0 victories away to Venezuela and at home to Chile earlier this month to climb above Brazil and Italy in the monthly standings.

Italy, who topped the rankings last month, fell to third despite two wins of their own.

The World Cup holders matched Argentina with two 2-0 wins in October, over South Africa and Georgia.

Italy gained less ranking points because of Georgia's own low ranking and the fact that the game against South Africa was a friendly.

The Italians also dropped points under the rolling system used by Fifa to evaluate national teams, with a more heavily-weighted win over Ukraine in October last year being devalued.

England have dropped out of the top 10, slipping to 11th after a 2-1 defeat away to Russia in their penultimate qualifying match for next year's European Championships.

Russia, who are now strongly placed to deny England a place at the Euro 2008 finals, have soared 10 places to 16th, thanks purely to their October 7 win in Moscow.

Bafana Bafana's position in the rankings is cause for concern as they are far below the continent's giants, Nigeria and Cameroon who are on 23 and 25. Other surprise rankings above SA are Mozambique (77), Angola (73), Equatorial Guinea (72), Togo (67) and Zambia (60). - Reuters (Additional reporting by Sello Rabothata)

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