Football: Chile cost England place in rankings

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND have slipped to fifth in the latest Fifa world rankings after last week's defeat by Chile, but there is more bad news for Northern Ireland and Wales.

Glenn Hoddle's team were fourth at the turn of the year but their first loss since June 1997 has seen them swap places with Mexico in the ratings compiled by football's world governing body.

Scotland remain in 37th place and the Republic of Ireland have just managed to stay in the top 50, dropping three positions from 47th.

However, Lawrie McMenemy's reign as Northern Ireland manager has begun on an ominous note, with his side dropping to 99th from 93rd to lie below Tanzania and Syria, among others.

And for Wales, the news is even worse - Bobby Gould's side have slumped to 107th from 102nd and are now below the likes of Vietnam and Singapore, just nine places above the Faroe Islands.

Elsewhere, the top three is unchanged, with the Czech Republic - who have failed to qualify for France 98 - third, Germany second and the world champions, Brazil, still top of the rankings.

Italy have dipped to 14th from ninth, while Australia, managed by the former England coach Terry Venables, are still in 35th, the position they occupied at the end of last year. Japan, in ninth, are the first Asian country to appear in the top 10.

Chile rise to seventh from 16th place after their victory at Wembley, while the United States have leapt 14 places to 12th following last week's surprise defeat of Brazil.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS (previous position): 1 Brazil (1) 72.58 points; 2 Germany (2) 65.01; 3 Czech Republic (3) 64.54; 4 Mexico (5) 61.67; 5 England (4) 60.89; 6 France (6) 59.45; 7 Chile (16) 59.14; 8 Yugoslavia (20) 58.97; 9 Japan (14) 58.90; 10 Norway (13) 58.87. Selected: 14 Italy (9) 58.40; 35 Australia (35) 52.32; 37 Scotland (37) 52.23; 50 Republic of Ireland (47) 46.65; 99 Northern Ireland (93) 31.21; 107 Wales (102) 27.95.

l Bora Milutinovic has picked a mixed squad of Nigerian veterans and second-string players to play fellow World Cup qualifiers Jamaica in Kingston on Sunday. Rashidi Yekini, the veteran striker, is one of five "old guards" selected.

NIGERIA SQUAD (v Jamaica, Kingston, Sunday): Goalkeepers: Baruwa (FC Sion), Akubuike (Jasper United); Defenders: Eguavoen (CSKA Moscow), Okafor (Kansas City), Shakpore (Reggiana), Ajide (Julius Berger), Obiekwo (Go Ahead Eagles), Iroha (San Jose Clash), Paschal (Glenclerbirligi), Babalade (LG Korea Cheetah); Midfielders: Musa (FC Saabrucken), Okougha (Sparta Rotterdam), Ebiede (Heerenveen), Ojigwe (Kaiserslautern), Obiora (Anderlecht); Strikers: Okolosi (Waldorf Maanheim), Onwuzuruike (Heerenveen), Siasia (Perth Glory), Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Shaibu (Sharks), Avaa (Jasper United), Yekini (FC Zurich).

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