Australia will leave the Oceania Football Confederation as the top ranked men’s and women’s sides after the release of the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.

Up one place from September 2005, the Matildas now sit in fifteenth sport, with their nearest rivals New Zealand seven five places back (22). Tonga still heads the Pacific Island nations up two places and now ranked 53, ahead of Papua New Guinea (59), Fiji (74), Vanuatu (87), Cook Islands (100), Samoa (102).

Tahiti (99) now feature on the ranking list, but the remaining OFC nations of American Samoa, New Caledonia, and Solomon Islands remain unranked.

There are now 123 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 list is published four times per year.

The third year-end FIFA Women’s World Ranking is once again headed by world and European champions Germany. Success in this year’s European Championship has doubled Germany’s advantage over the American Olympic champions, while Norway (3) and Brazil (4) – the only South American team in the top ten – lie some way back in third and fourth respectively. The remaining places in the top ten are occupied by Sweden (5), Korea DPR (6), France (7), Denmark (8), China PR (9) and Italy (10).

The Best Mover of the Year comes from Asia, with Vietnam climbing seven places to 36 on the back of an impressive haul of points.

The next FIFA Women’s World Ranking list will be published on March 17 2006.

FIFA Women’s World Rankings (at December 2005

1. Germany

2. USA

3. Norway

4. Brazil

5. Sweden

6. Korea DPR

7. France

8. Denmark

9. China PR

10. Italy

15. Australia

22. New Zealand

53. Tonga

59. Papua New Guinea

74. Fiji

87. Vanuatu

99. Tahiti

100. Cook Islands

101. Samoa