Soccer

Spain stay top, Bafana drop

2012-01-18 12:04

Zurich - World and European champion Spain stayed atop FIFA's mainly unchanged rankings on Wednesday.

South Africa dropped four places to 56th, as their downward slide continued.

Bafana Bafana, who have won only one of their last seven official matches, soared into 38th place in the table in May last year, but have gradually slipped further back in the global standings.

The South Africans, tied in 56th place with Cameroon, retained eighth position in the rankings among African nations.

Having failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations which starts in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next week, Bafana will play their next international friendly against Senegal on February 29.

The top 10 places remained the same after just 11 international matches were played last month.

The Netherlands was second, ahead of Germany, South American champion Uruguay and England. Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina completed the elite places.

Chile moved up one spot to No 12, trading places with Russia. Switzerland and Sweden also rose one, to Nos 16 and 17 respectively.

Africa Cup of Nations favourites Ivory Coast dropped two to No 18 before the tournament kicks off on Saturday.

Host teams Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are No 91 and No 151, respectively.

Japan leads Asia at No 19, and No 21 Mexico heads the CONCACAF teams.

FIFA rankings for January (December position in parentheses):

1. Spain (1)
2. Netherlands (2)
3. Germany (3)
4. Uruguay (4)
5. England (5)
6. Brazil (6)
7. Portugal (7)
8. Croatia (8)
9. Italy (9)
10. Argentina (10)
11. Denmark (11)
12. Chile (13)
13. Russia (12)
14. Greece (14)
15. France (15)
16. Switzerland (17)
17. Sweden (18)
18. Ivory Coast (16)
T19. Japan (19)
T19. Bosnia-Herzegovina (20)

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