By Mohamed Assed.
Tripoli, 9 August:
Libya has reached its highest ever place in the Coca Cola FIFA World Rankings. The national team . . .[restrict]moved up one place to 38th, putting them 2nd in the Arab world, behind Algeria, and 4th in Africa.
This was the first edition of rankings to include South Sudan, who sit in 199th place, having played their first ever international match, a 2-2 draw with Uganda, last month.
The seemingly invincible Spanish team retained its place as the world’s number one, followed by Germany in second and England in third, also in their best ever position. Other countries at their peak in the rankings are the Central African Republic (71st, up 2), the Dominican Republic (118th, up 12), Aruba (157th, up 7) and American Samoa (182nd, up 1). The top African nation was Côte d’Ivoire
(16th), followed by Ghana (32nd) and Algeria (34th). This latter face Libya on the 5 September, in the last round of qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations 2013. The match, eagerly anticipated by the Libyan public, is set to be close, given the similar rankings of the two teams. Nevertheless, recent encouraging results for Ahmed Saad and his teammates have engendered a spirit of optimism ahead of the clash next month.
The rankings are based on results from the last 12 international matches and it is expected that next month’s rankings may look very different, as a round of fixtures on all continents is set to begin on 15 August.