Despite not playing any international matches over the past month, Malta dropped twelve places in the FIFA World Ranking and is now the worst ever placing – 173rd since the ranking list was introduced in 1993.
This leaves Malta well behind the other European teams, except Andorra and San Marino – both ranked 203rd. Iceland is 121st, Kazakhstan 126th and Luxembourg 128th.
Meanwhile Malta will be in the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup preliminary draw which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday.
UEFA’s 53 member associations have been split into six pots from which nine groups will be determined.
The six seeding pots were based on the July FIFA World Ranking. The top nine teams are placed in Pot 1 (including world champions Spain and 2010 runners-up the Netherlands), the next nine in Pot 2 and so on, with the lowest eight in Pot 6.
In the European qualifying competition, to be played between 7 September 2012 and 15 October 2013, the teams will be divided into eight groups of six teams and one of five. Each pool will contain one team from each pot, except for the five-team Group I, which will have no country from Pot 6.
The nine section winners progress straight to the finals in Brazil ? to be held from 12 June to 13 July 2014 ? and the eight best runners-up will play off for the remaining four berths over two legs from 15 to 19 November 2013, with the winners of those matches also competing in South America.
Pot 1: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Norway, Greece
Pot 2: France, Montenegro, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia, Slovakia
Pot 3: Switzerland, Israel, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary
Pot 4: Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Lithuania, Albania, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Poland
Pot 5: Armenia, Finland, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Moldova, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Faroe Islands
Pot 6: Wales, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra, San Marino
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