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FIFA RANKING

Nigeria’s World Cup opponents rise in ranking as Super Eagles slump

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

The bad start to the World Cup qualification campaign by the Super Eagles has manifested in the latest FIFA ranking released this Thursday.

Expectedly, Nigeria slumped globally, falling two steps down to 42 from last month’s 40th position. The results in the two World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe may have been contributory factors.

Paradoxically, Lesotho who were forced to a 1-1 draw by Nigeria in Uyo, climbed up from 153 in October to 148 in November.

Similarly, Zimbabwe which the Super Eagles laboured to force a 1-1 draw also rose from 125 to 124. Rwanda, the surprise team in Nigeria’s Group C rose from 140 to 133, courtesy of their impressive 2-0 defeat of South Africa who slumped from 64 to 66.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.