ZURICH: After more than six months of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international matches have finally recommenced. With the exception of Uzbekistan’s 2-1 friendly victory over Tajikistan, the countries back in action have all been European.
The successful staging of these games was nonetheless encouraging for teams from other confederations as they seek to resume international fixtures in the weeks ahead.
Meanwhile, the 54 UEFA Nations League games that took place across Europe at the beginning of September had an immediate impact on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, which had remained unchanged since 9 April.
While there has been no movement among the leading quartet – in descending order: Belgium, France, Brazil and England – Portugal (5th, +2) have moved into the top five thanks to victories over Croatia (8th, -2) and Sweden (18th, -1).
Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, +1), Italy (12th, +1), the Netherlands (13th, +1), and Germany (14th, +1), with each gaining one place in the global classification. Wales (21st, + 2) climbed two rungs but remain just outside the top 20.
Russia, hosts of the last FIFA World Cup™, are further back in 32nd but had the biggest gain in this edition, ascending six places courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, – 2) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).
Despite not playing, IR Iran (30th, + 3) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, -3) dropped points.
The method used to calculate positioning in the World Ranking is explained here.
Click here to view the complete ranking.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 22 October 2020.