Nigeria’s inability to beat Sierra Leon home and away in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers has seen the Super Eagles slump three spots in the latest global rankings released by world soccer governing body, FIFA, megasportsarena.com reports.
This comes barely two weeks after the Eagles gave up a 4-0 lead against the visiting Leone Stars to settle for a 4-4 draw at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City and, four days later, the three-time African champions again fumbled to a goalless away draw with the same side in Freetown.
The results delayed Nigeria’s qualification for the 2022 AFCON in Cameroon and, though they remain at the summit of Group L with eight points after four matches, it has affected their FIFA ranking, while Sierra Leone, on the other hand, are among the biggest movers on the continent as they climbed four places to 116th in the world.
The biggest movers in Africa are Equatorial Guinea and Burundi, who climbed 10 spots after avoiding defeats in their AFCON qualification games against Libya and Mauritania respectively, while Nigeria remain the continent’s fourth best country.
Senegal retain number one spot, followed by Tunisia and Algeria in second and third positions respectively, and the status quo would likely remain for the next ranking, the last for 2020, which will be released on December 10.
Although the Eagles are still Africa’s fourth top team on the latest scales, the Nigerian squad have dropped three spots to 35th in the world, but they are still ahead of Morocco, Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso; while their AFCON qualification Group L rivals – Benin Republic , Sierra Leone and Lesotho – are 83rd, 116th and 143rd respectively.
Similarly, Nigeria’s 2022 World Cup qualification group opponents – Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia – place 81st, 114th and 152nd respectively; but the world’s top six global rankings are unchanged; Belgium lead the way followed by France, Brazil, England, Portugal and Spain in that order.