NEW ZEALAND HEAD OFC NATIONS AHEAD OF BUSY SCHEDULE
New Zealand (120) has dropped five places in the latest FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Rankings, due to a mixture of inactivity and a flurry of internationals with their rivals in Asia. In all only 39 international matches have been played this month, with two thirds of them taking place in Asia. The All Whites are back in action with international matches scheduled against Chile and Brazil ahead of the FIFA World Cup,,Â§.
Fiji still lead the island nations despite dropping two places to 140, ahead of the Solomon Islands 143 (-3), Tahiti 144 (-2), and Vanuatu 147 (-1). Papua New Guinea (168) still heads the developing OFC nations, ahead of Samoa (183), Tonga (186=), New Caledonia (188), Cook Islands (195), and American Samoa (205) who remain in the bottom spot.
With just under two months until the 2006 FIFA World CupTM gets underway, there is little movement amongst the leading nations in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
All of the teams in the higher reaches of the table have lost points due to the devaluation of past results, with some teams suffering more than others, such as Argentina (8, -4) and Croatia (24, -5). However, as the teams are so close together, losses and gains are of little significance at the moment. In terms of positions, the status quo is maintained at the very top with Brazil, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands continuing as they were.
This month’s biggest movers are all to be found outside the top 50, with Asian teams primarily catching the eye due to the inaugural AFC Challenge Cup. The two finalists – Tajikistan (125, +16) and Sri Lanka (135, +10) – and Kyrgyzstan (146, +13) all made significant ground. Palestine (115, +6) are also currently in their highest ever position in the World Rankings, and other teams to make impressive progress include Guinea (52, +4), China PR (66, +5) and Congo DR (70, +4).
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 17 May 2006.
FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Rankings (ranking at March 2006)
1. Brazil (1)
2. Czech Rep. (2)
3. Netherlands (3)
4. USA (5)
5. Spain (6)
6. Mexico (7)
7. France (8)
8= Portugal (10)
8= Argentina (4)
10. England (9)
120. New Zealand (115)
140 Fiji (138)
143. Solomon Islands (140)
144. Tahiti (141)
147. Vanuatu (146)
168. Papua New Guinea (168)
183. Samoa (183)
186= Tonga (185)
188. New Caledonia (187)
195. Cook Islands (194)
205. American Samoa (205)
The Ranking System
The FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Ranking evaluates all matches played by senior national teams (World Cup finals matches, World Cup preliminary matches, Confederation championship matches, Confederation championship preliminary matches, friendly matches).
The calculation of a team’s points is based on the following six criteria;
1. Winning, drawing, and losing
2. Number of goals
3. Home or away match
4. Importance of match (multiplication factor)
5. Strength of the opponent
6. Regional strength (multiplication factor)