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FIFA's List For March Puts Ethiopian National Team At 102nd Place


There is no difference between the results registered seven months ago in September 2014 and this time in March 2015. But for reasons difficult to explain the Ethiopian National Football Team February and March, 2015 rankings by the world football governing body, Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) remained 102nd.

In the last seven months the national team were eliminated from the 30th African Cup qualifier. Even the national side faced early exit from the All Africa Games qualifier following home and away defeats by the Sudanese side. Earlier than this the national side faced similar defeats in the CECAFA Cup staged in Kenya.

Seven months ago in September 2014, the FIFA report showed that Ethiopian National Football Team have drastically gone down to take the 132nd place. This was a blow to the national side in the space of 30 days. In August rankings the national side had a 112th position while in July they were 110th.

FIFA ranking procedure goes along strict course of action: All points are awarded on a "World Cup cycle," the four-year period between tournaments, per FIF

A's fact sheet. Of the international "A" matches taken into account for a month's ranking, most of them are continental qualifiers in Europe, Africa and CONCACAF, other fixtures for friendly matches.

Accordingly, it is clear to every one that the September's fall came following the two defeats against Algeria and Mali in the African Cup of Nations qualifier. At the end of this (African Cup) qualification series, the Ethiopian side finished bottom from Group B with only one win, one draw and four defeats. Ethiopia were in Group B along with Algeria, Mali and Malawi. In recent All Africa Games qualifiers they faced early exit with two defeats in a row. They didn't even win on home grounds in friendly matches organized before the Africa Cup qualification began. The record sheet tells that the national side went from bad to worse after the two defeats by Algeria and Mali but improvements are seen in the latest FIFA rankings.

In the March 2014 rankings, Ethiopia were 28th in Africa and 101st globally. When the Ethiopian national team succeeded in going to the 29th African Nation's Cup final in 2013 in South Africa, they ranked 102nd in the world moving up 16 places. That was a good jump. The improvement was very well understood by every one who follows football but this time the secret behind the latest improvement in rankings remain a mystery.

Ethiopia's best position was registered in 2006 when it ranked 92nd. The only other time Ethiopia broke in the top 100 was back in 1993 ranking 96. Ethiopia had also the 95th position. These positions were seen as signs of improvement.

Meanwhile, Algeria remained the top-ranked African side in FIFA's list for March, one place above Africa Cup of Nations winners Cote d'Ivoire. But despite the Elephants' title success in Equatorial Guinea; they stay behind Algeria in the rankings.

The Desert Foxes were knocked out of this year's tournament by Cote d'Ivoire at the quarter-final stage.

Ghana and Senegal each moved up a spot, while Nations Cup hosts Equatorial Guinea fell out of the top 10.