England rewarded for failure

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The Independent Football

England's unlikely prize for a dismal performance at the World Cup is a promotion of one place to seventh in the latest Fifa world rankings.

Fabio Capello's disappointing side were rated only the 13th best team out of the 32 who competed in South Africa after their record of one win and two draws in the group stages, followed by an embarrassing 4-1 hammering by Germany in the second round.

But their failure is not reflected in the latest version of the Fifa world rankings, which were released yesterday and show England up one place to seventh.

Capello's team benefit only because others fared even worse. The game's ruling body has decided that Portugal, who lost to the eventual World Cup winners Spain in the first knockout round, should drop five places to eighth, one place below England. Italy, the defending world champions, have been relegated six places to 11th, after their World Cup rating of 26th. France dropped 12 places to 21st thanks to their disastrous showing in South Africa, which saw them ranked 29 out of the 32 nations.

Spain have replaced Brazil as the No 1 side while beaten finalists the Netherlands have rise two places to second, with Brazil slipping down to third. Semi-finalists Uruguay have risen to sixth.


Fifa standings after World Cup and how each side fared in South Africa:

1. Spain, Winners

2. Holland, Runners-up

3. Brazil, Quarter-finalists

4. Germany, Third

5. Argentina, Quarter-finalists

6. Uruguay, Fourth

7. England, Second round

8. Portugal, Second round

9. Egypt, Did not qualify

10. Chile, Second round