Despite not playing any international matches over the past weeks, Malta lost three places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking list which was published on Wednesday and is now 159th.
Malta will be in action once again later this month, hosting Liechtenstein in a friendly match on February 29. Another friendly match is scheduled for June 2 against Luxembourg away from home.
Among the other European countries, lying just ahead of Malta are the Faroe Islands (118, down 4), Liechtenstein (126, up 6), Cyprus (127, down 1), Luxembourg (133, down 6), Kazakhstan (138, up 1) and Moldova (142, down 7), Andorra and San Marino are currently 205th.
Meanwhile the CAF Africa Cup of Nations has left its mark on the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, with Zambia, who won their first continental title in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, climbing to 43rd. This is the first time since February 2001 that the side, coached by Herve Renard, have made it into the top 50.
Despite losing on penalties in the decider, Côte d’Ivoire (15th, up 3) remain Africa’s highest-positioned team. Aside from the two finalists, third-placed Mali (44th, up 25) as well as host nations Gabon (45th, up 46) and Equatorial Guinea (110th, up 41) have made considerable ground.
Changes are also to be seen in the top ten, with Germany (2nd, up 1) bumping the Netherlands out of second place to take up position behind Spain, and Portugal (6th, up 1) and Italy (8th, up 1) also making headway. Denmark have moved into the top ten (10th, up 1), pushing Argentina down to 11th.
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