Like their male counterparts, the Australian women’s national team head the Oceania nations in the FIFA World Rankings, followed by New Zealand.

Australia lie in 16th, with the kiwis five places back (21). Tonga heads the Pacific Island nations ranked 55, ahead of Papua New Guinea (60), Fiji (73), Vanuatu (88), Cook Islands (101), Samoa (102).

The remaining OFC nations American Samoa, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, and Tahiti are not ranked on the list.

There are now 124 teams in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, which is calculated according to a number of factors, including match results, home advantage, significance of a match and strength of the opposition.

The ranking is published four times per year.

Germany, current World and European Champions, remain at the top of the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, followed by Olympic Champions USA. Both Finland (14 +2) and Iceland (17 +1) have made progress, following the example set by their Scandinavian neighbours and top 10 evergreens, Norway and Sweden.

Sweden now have little chance of catching up with the determined French (5) and will have to resist efforts from Korea DPR and Denmark who are hot on their heels in positions 7 and 8 respectively.

Former footballing superpower China PR (9 -1) continue their slide down the ranking and will have to fight to remain inside the top 10.

The other big winner outside the top 10 is Russia (13), who came through three Women’s World Cup qualifiers without losing a match. Other movers include Korea Republic (22), Peru (34) and Slovakia (39), all of whom climbed four positions; Korea Republic’s success in the 2005 East Asian Football Federation Women’s Cup on home ground was rewarded with a move up the ranking, while half a dozen victories and eventual success in the women’s competition at the Juegos Bolivarianos gave Peru a boost and the honour of becoming the second best ranked South American team, after Brazil.

The next FIFA Women’s World Ranking will be published in December 2005.

FIFA Women’s World Rankings

1. Germany

2. USA

3. Norway

4. Brazil

5. France

6. Sweden

7. Korea DPR

8. Denmark

9. China PR

10. Italy

16. Australia

21. New Zealand

55. Tonga

60. Papua New Guinea

73. Fiji

88. Vanuatu

101. Cook Islands

102. Samoa

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