Turkey jumps nine spots in latest FIFA world rankings
Turkish players (L-R) Umut Bulut, Arda Turan and Burak Yılmaz leave the field after a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup qualification group game in Istanbul.Turkey has jumped nine spots to 40th in the latest FIFA rankings, which were announced yesterday.
The national football team failed to make it past the 2014 World Cup qualification stage for the third consecutive time, meaning it will be watching football’s biggest stage from afar next
summer, but its late surge helped its climb in the sport’s international rankings.
Turkey finished its qualification group in fourth spot behind the Netherlands, Romania and Hungary to cap a disappointing campaign. However, the team enjoyed a late surge of three wins out of four games after Fatih Terim replaced Abdullah Avcı as head coach last month.
With wins over Andorra, Romania and Estonia, Turkey jumped nine spots in two months to extract itself from its decade-worst 58th spot announced in August.
However, Turkey still risks being seeded in the third pot for the Euro 2016 qualification groups, which will be announced on Feb. 23, 2014. The latest FIFA rankings meant that Belgium and Switzerland will figure among the eight teams seeded for the World Cup draw, in contrast to 2006 champions Italy and 2010 runner-up the Netherlands.
Italy paid dear for its 2-2 draw with Armenia on Oct. 15, slipping four places in the latest world rankings.
It is this list which FIFA is using to determine the seedings for the Dec. 6 draw for next year’s World Cup.
Joining hosts Brazil as seeds for the World Cup are world champion Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland and – potentially – Uruguay.
But should Uruguay fail to qualify – it faces a playoff against Jordan – then it is the Dutch who will take their place.
The Italians, as a result of the stalemate with Armenia, drop from fourth to eighth place in the latest world order, behind the Dutch by the narrowest of margins. Brazil is lying 11th in the rankings but as the 2014 host, it goes into the draw seeded 1.
Belgium booked its 2014 ticket by topping Group A ahead of Croatia, while Switzerland guaranteed its presence in Brazil as Group E winners in front of Iceland.
Since 2010, FIFA have relied on the rankings to determine seedings rather than a mix of results from major finals and qualifying games.
The latest rankings are also being used to work out the seeds for Oct. 21’s World Cup European zone playoff draw.
As already confirmed France, the 1998 World Cup winners and finalists in 2006, miss out and therefore will face one of the four seeded teams – Portugal, Greece, Croatia or Ukraine.
An additional report from AFP was used in this story.