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Palestine surge to best ever FIFA ranking

Thursday, November 23, 2017
palestine rank jpg

Kuala Lumpur: Palestine's excellent form and qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 has been rewarded with the team moving up to 82nd in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday.

In achieving their best ever FIFA ranking, Abdel Nasser Barakat's team moved up two places to be ranked just outside Asia's top 10, sitting in 11th spot. 

Palestine have been perfect in Group D of the Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers, with five wins and just one qualifying match to play ahead of their participation in the Finals in UAE in January, 2019.

Islamic Republic of Iran, however, remain Asia's top-ranked team as they moved up to 32 in the rankings, an improvement of two places from October.

Australia - thanks to their FIFA World Cup 2018 Play-off wins over Syria and Honduras - also saw an improvement as the Asian champions jumped to 39th from 43rd spot previously.

Japan are Asia's third highest ranked team but they dropped to 55th, down 11 places.

Korea Republic improved three spots to 59 while China PR dropped from 57th to 60th.

Rounding up Asia's top five teams were Saudi Arabia, who were unchanged in 63rd spot in the FIFA rankings.

Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Korea Republic and Australia will be Asia's representatives at the FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia.

Another Asian team to achieve their best ever FIFA ranking were Chinese Taipei, who are at 135th spot.

DPR Korea (114, up 18), Lebanon (87, up 13) and Indonesia (154, up 11) were the Continent's other big movers. 

Asia’s Top 10 (global rankings in brackets)

IR Iran (32nd)

Australia (39th)

Japan (55th)

Korea Republic (59th)

China PR (60th)

Saudi Arabia (63rd)

United Arab Emirates (73rd)

Syria (77th)

Iraq (79th)

Uzbekistan (80th)

The next FIFA World Ranking will be released on December 21.

Photo: AFP