Nigerian football fans fault FIFA rankings

Abakaliki (Nigeria), Sep 14 (IANS): Fans in Nigeria's southeast Ebonyi state have faulted the modalities for the monthly rankings of football nations by the international football federation (FIFA).

The fans, who spoke in an opinion poll here Friday, were reacting to Nigeria's 36th position in the world and fourth in Africa.

The fans wondered how Nigeria remained down in rankings after winning the African Cup of Nations and at least three international matches in a row, reports Xinhua.

George Anizoba, coach of Mgbo Ambassadors FC of Ohaukwu, noted that the rankings had continued to be a mystery.

"Nigeria is the defending African Cup of Nations champions, has won three matches in a row before the latest rankings but is only placed fourth in Africa while dropping one place in the world. Ghana, which is placed second in Africa, won one, drew one and lost one of its latest three matches and placed a dismal fourth in the last Nations Cup," he said.

Alex Nwofe, a sports administrator, said that the rankings were influenced by several factors, of which politics was paramount.

Nigeria needs to fill the vacuum in global football politics created by the exit of Amos Adamu from FIFA.

Austin Diala, Ebonyi Stars FC goalkeeper, urged Nigerians to be grateful to God that the country was ranked among the best five in the continent.

"The present placement will enable the country to be seeded in the play-offs which gives it the advantage of playing the first leg of the two-legged ties away," he said.


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Title: Nigerian football fans fault FIFA rankings

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