Football: England slip down world rankings

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The Independent Online
England have slipped one place to 13th in the latest list of international rankings released yesterday by Fifa, world football's governing body.

The fall is mainly the result of defeat in their World Cup qualifier against Italy at Wembley in February, with the Italians climbing four places to sixth.

Brazil, World Cup winners in 1994, still head the list, followed by the European champions, Germany, and Denmark, who have risen from sixth place at the end of last year.

Scotland remain in 29th position while the Republic of Ireland are down eight places to 44th, Northern Ireland climb one to 64 and Wales slip three places to 83.

Australia, who are now managed by the former England coach, Terry Venables, have managed one of the most dramatic improvements, rising from 50th place last year to 34th.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS (Position at end of 1996 in brackets): 1 Brazil (1) 66.15pts; 2 Germany (2) 64.02; 3 Denmark (6) 62.03; 4 France (3) 61.75; 5 Spain (8) 61.43; 6 Italy (10) 61.37; 7 Netherlands (9) 60.52; 8 Czech Republic (5) 60.06; 9 Romania (16) 59.22; 10 Russia (7) 59.10; 11 Colombia (4) 58.41; 12 Mexico (11) 57.93; 13 England (12) 57.14; 14 Bulgaria (15) 56.41; 15 Norway (14) 55.83; 16 Portugal (13) 54.75; 17 Slovakia (30) 54.49; 18 Japan (21) 54.26; 19 Morocco (27) 53.90; 20 Sweden (17) 53.73; 21 Argentina (22) 53.64; 22 Paraguay (38) 53.36; 23 Zambia (20) 53.34; 24 Tunisia (23) 53.13; 25 South Africa (19) 52.78; 26 United States (18) 52.71; 27 Chile (26) 51.92; 28 Croatia (24) 51.65; 29 Scotland (29) 51.31; 30 Saudi Arabia (37) 50.16. Selected: 34 Australia (50) 48.55; 44 Republic of Ireland (36) 45.36; 63 Northern Ireland (64) 40.45; 83 Wales (80) 33.90.

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