Leap attributed to the recent victory over Sri-lanka
Football: Bhutan is no more the lowest ranked footballing nation. After the memorable double victory in the two-legged encounter with Sri Lanka, Bhutan jumped 46 places from the bottom of the FIFA ranking to reach 163rd in the table.
This is the highest ranking that the country has ever reached since the ranking was introduced in 1993, and also the biggest leap in this edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking this year. Bhutan is ranked above neighbor Bangladesh (167), Malaysia (164), war torn Yemen (170) and Hong Kong (167).
Anguilla replaced Bhutan as FIFA’s 209th and lowest ranked international side after losing 8-0 on aggregate to Nicaragua in the first round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying last month.
A total of 135 “A” international games were taken into account for the latest edition of the global ladder, taking the total number of games evaluated so far this year to 217. The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on May 7.
For the second round draw, Bhutan is placed in the fourth pot with countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Timor- Leste. The top seeds for the Asian draw, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Australia are placed in the first pot. 40 teams are split into eight groups of five in the latest stage of Asia’s long road to Russia 2018.
The odds of Bhutan facing the top seeds like Japan and South Korea is now one to four. The draw is scheduled on April 14 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Meanwhile, some other notable changes in the FIFA ranking included Belgium moving to the top three positions led by Germany and Argentina in first and second respectively. France (11th) and Italy (13th) dropped out with Switzerland (ninth) and Spain (10th) replacing them in the top ten.
The biggest drop in the ranking was of New Caledonia who fell 23 places from 151 to 174 in this edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking.
By Younten Tshedup