FIFA rankings: South Africa overtake Nigeria

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Nigeria slipped one step down on the FIFA rankings for the month of May released yesterday. South Africa pushed Nigeria down to the 39th position from 38th, Nigeria previously occupied.

Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire and reigning African champions Egypt retained the top three positions while South Africa and Nigeria swopped slots and resurgent Senegal climbed three spots to sixth.

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Libya complete the top 10 in rankings that are becoming increasingly significant with seedings for national team competitions based on them.

Senegal rose 11 places to 40 in the world — the first time they have been among the top 50 since January 2009 — as the team spirit created by coach Amara Traore continues to bear fruit.

The ‘Teranga Lions’ defeated Cameroon in a crucial Cup of Nations qualifier two months ago and are poised to make the 2012 tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea after missing the last two editions.

Spain stayed top as the 10 top places remained unchanged, while Netherlands are second behind world and European champions Spain with Brazil third, Germany fourth and Argentina fifth.

Africa’s top ten (World ranking in brackets):

1. Ghana (15)
2. Ivory Coast (21)
3. Egypt (36)
4. South Africa (38)
5. Nigeria (39)
6. Senegal (40)
7. Algeria (41)
8. Burkina Faso (44)
9. Cameroon (49)
10. Libya (58)

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