FIFA has released its inaugural FIFA women’s ranking with the United States not surprisingly ranked number one. The USA won the last World Cup when it hosted the event in 1999. And because of the SARS threat in Asia, they get to host it once again this September after it was moved from China.
The other countries in the top ten include (in this order); Norway, Germany, China PR, Sweden, Brazil, Korea DPR, Denmark, France and Italy.
The highest ranked OFC nation is Australia in 15th place. The Matildas will look to improve that ranking when it represents Oceania at the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 which runs from 20 September till 12 October.
New Zealand rates next highest of the OFC nations ranked just outside the top twenty at number 21. Papua New Guinea has a credible ranking of 59 which places it above nations such as Uruguay, South Africa and Northern Ireland. Cook Islands (91) and Samoa (94) round out the OFC nations listed out of the 102 nations in total. It is noted only those countries that took part in the 2003 OFC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Canberra in April this year have been ranked.
According to FIFAworldcup.com, The World Ranking is determined on the basis of a performance rating that takes account of such factors as results, home advantage, importance of each match, and the difference in the strength of the two teams involved.
The inaugural ranking has been calculated using a comprehensive database of over 3,000 matches played between 1971 and the present. FIFA has high hopes that the FIFA Women’s World Ranking will add further impetus to the sport, while also providing an accurate yardstick for comparing the 100+ national teams that are currently active and a starting point for statistical analysis of women’s football.
The “Big Count” FIFA conducted in 2001 indicated that there are 22 million active women footballers worldwide. Ninety-nine teams participated in the recently completed preliminary rounds of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, more than twice the number that took part in the qualifiers for the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in China 12 years ago.
Calculated and managed by FIFA in collaboration with international sports information provider Infostrada Sports, the ranking will appear four times each year.
The next FIFA Women’s World Ranking will be published on 29 August 2003.