FIFA World Ranking

Japan start 2021 as Asia's top ranked team

Kuala Lumpur: Japan have retained their position as Asia's best team, following the latest FIFA World Ranking released on Thursday. 

Japan's position at the top of the Asian rankings, however, will come under threat in the coming weeks as national team football is set to return with the resumption of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

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With minimal national team football played since the last ranking in December, there were no changes to the positions of Asia's top ranked teams with Japan 27th, followed by Islamic Republic of Iran at 29th, while Korea Republic are ranked 38th.

Australia are at 41st, with reigning Asian AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar completing the top five at 58th.

Oman moved up one spot to 81st to rank in the top 10 of the Asian standings, while Thailand and Tajikistan also moved one position up to 110th and 120th respectively.

With the Asian Qualifiers scheduled to resume soon, some teams have already kicked off preparations with several being involved in friendly matches and training camps over the last few weeks.

Asia's hopefuls will be aiming to hit the ground running in the Asian Qualifiers, with places in the third round of Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2020 at stake.

Teams that don't advance to the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers will still have a chance to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Finals, setting the stage for exciting football in the coming months after hardly any national team action was witnessed in 2020.

Click HERE for the latest FIFA World Ranking

Photo: AFP

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