As expected, there are very few changes to 2013’s first edition of the FIFA World Ranking, with football having come to a halt in many places over the New Year period. Only 46 matches have been included in the Ranking since December’s installment, 18 of which took place in 2012, with the remaining 28 being played in the first half of January 2013.

And barely 48 hours to the commencement of the African Nation’s Cup in South Africa, the Super Eagles remain the 9th best team in Africa and 52nd in the world.

Cote d ‘Ivoire remain Africa’s best team while retaining the 14th spot globally.

Algeria dropped three places to the 22nd spot but remained Africa’s second best playing team. Mali and the Black Stars of Ghana occupied the third and the fourth spots.

The Chipolopolo of Zambia dropped five places in the latest ranking but remain the 5th best in the continent.

Libya, Gabon, Central African Republic and Tunisia completed Africa’s top ten.

There is no movement whatsoever in the top ten, with Spain still holding a comfortable lead over Germany and Argentina.

Further down, two teams are now in their highest-ever position, namely Ecuador, who have reaped the rewards of some outstanding performances in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying to move up to 12th, and Haiti, who are 38th on the back of their successful qualification for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013.

Only two teams – Uzbekistan (56th, up 11) and Cuba (88th, up 12) – have climbed more than ten places since December.

With Libya (47th, up 7) and Panama (46th, up 5) having replaced Tunisia (53rd, down 8) and Egypt (54th, down 13) in the top 50, the regional composition has changed slightly compared to last month, as CONCACAF now has one more team in the top 50 (4 teams) and CAF one less (7 teams). The number of teams from the other confederations remains unchanged (UEFA: 27, CONMEBOL: 9, AFC 3, OFC: 0).

The next FIFA World Ranking will be published on 14 February 2013.

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