Malta falls three places in FIFA ranking

Despite a 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland last week, Malta fell three places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and is now ranked 149th.

Malta is ranked 49th among the UEFA countries. Lying just ahead of Malta are Cyprus (135, down 4), Moldova (137, down 9), Kazakhstan (142) and Luxembourg (148). Liechtenstein (154), Faroe Islands (155, down 2), Andorra (204, down 1) and San Marino (207) lie behind Malta.

The national team will be in action next month in two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria away from home and Italy at Ta’ Qali.

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Meanwhile the February edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking is dominated by the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. By claiming their third title, Nigeria (30th, up 22) have not only ended a 19-year drought since they last won the tournament, but have also climbed 22 places to 30th – their best ranking since August 2010 – while beaten finalists Burkina Faso (55th, up 37) have moved up a massive 37 places to 55th. Hosts South Africa (60th, up 25) have also enjoyed a significant leap of 25 places.

Although former Africa Cup of Nations winners Côte d’Ivoire (12th, up 2) bowed out at the quarter-final stage, last year’s runners-up have achieved their best-ever world ranking (12th). However, the Elephants have not made it into the top ten, where Spain (1st, unchanged) continue to reign supreme ahead of Germany (2nd, unchanged) and Argentina (3rd, unchanged). England (4th, up 2) complete the top four after their home win over Brazil.