NIGERIA FALL IN RANKINGS
Nigeria have been doing poorly in the FIFA rankings in recent times. They have dropped seven places since the last two rankings came out. They are currently ranked 35th in the world.
The national team manager, Stephen Keshi, though, thinks that the rankings from FIFA are not a true indicator of the quality of the teams. He has recalled how Brazil managed to lift the Confederations cup a few weeks ago by managing to beat the best team in the world – Spain. Brazil are currently 22nd in the world ranking tables despite having won the World Cup more than any country in the world.
Keshi has once again stated that qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup remains his primary target now. Nigeria have had an inconsistent run of form in the last few months.
After starting the Confederations cup well, the team suffered back-to-back defeats against Uruguay and Spain to be knocked out of the tournament. The 2-1 defeat against Uruguay and the 3-0 defeat against Spain proved disastrous for the team in their aspirations of reaching at least the semi-final.
Nigeria have been managing to do well in major tournaments in the past few years. The African cup of Nations success recently is a testament to this fact.
“I don’t have any reaction about the latest FIFA ranking. My concern is to qualify Nigeria for the World Cup irrespective of FIFA ranking. After all, Brazil was ranked 22 before the Confederations Cup but they still went ahead to win the tournament. So why are we bothered about FIFA ranking? For me, it doesn’t matter. Meeting my target of qualifying for the World Cup is more important to me than FIFA ranking,” said the manager. Nigeria will be playing against South Africa in a friendly match in the second week of August.