Bafana move up one place on Fifa table

SOUTH Africa have improved one position in the latest Fifa rankings, and are now 85th in the world. The new table was released by the football governing body yesterday.

SOUTH Africa have improved one position in the latest Fifa rankings, and are now 85th in the world. The new table was released by the football governing body yesterday.

Bafana Bafana moved up a place after the draws against Japan and Jamaica in two recent international friendlies.

The marginal improvement in the World Cup hosts' ranking is a far cry from the highest ranked African country, Cameroon, who lie in 11th place. Cameroon are followed by Ivory Coast, who are ranked 16th, Nigeria (22nd), Egypt (24th) and Algeria (26th). This is the Algerians' best position since the rankings were launched in 1993.

Meanwhile, Spain are ranked No 1 for the second straight year.

The Netherlands and world champions Italy stayed third and fourth as the top 10 remained unchanged.

World Cup qualifiers New Zealand dropped five places but still lead the Oceania region at No 82.

The Fifa top 20 (previous month's ranking in parentheses): 1. Spain (1), 1627 points; 2. Brazil (2), 1568; 3. Netherlands (3), 1288; 4. Italy (4), 1209; 5. Portugal (5), 1176; 6. Germany (6) 1173; 7. France (7), 1117; 8. Argentina (8), 1085; 9. England (9), 1076; 10. Croatia (10), 1042; 11. Cameroon (11) 1035; 12. Russia (13), 1026; 13. Greece (12), 1016; 14. United States (14) 980; 15. Chile (17), 936; 16. Ivory Coast (16), 934; 17. Mexico (15), 931; 18. Switzerland (18), 924; 19. Serbia (20), 916; 20. Uruguay (19), 909. - Additional reporting by Sapa-AP

X