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  • Wednesday, August 9, 2000

    Canada falls one spot to No. 56 in FIFA world soccer rankings

    By NEIL DAVIDSON -- Canadian Press

     Canada, after a loss to Trinidad and Tobago and a tie with Panama, dropped one spot to No. 56 in the monthly world soccer rankings released Wednesday.

     The Canadians, whose highest ranking was No. 40 in December 1996, are sandwiched between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

     Trinidad and Tobago reaped the benefits of World Cup qualifying wins over Canada and Mexico, jumping eight spots to No. 29, its best ever ranking. Jamaica was another CONCACAF country on the move, rising 14 places to No. 46 after extending its win streak to four.

     Mexico, Canada's next opponent in World Cup qualifying play, dropped one place to No. 14.

     While Canada fell a rung, it is still in some lofty company. The Canadians are in the top three in FIFA's "mover of the year" category which measures points gained and total number of points since the start of the year. The Dutch (No. 8, up 11 since December '99) currently lead the category, followed closely by Cameroon (No. 33, up 25) and Canada (No. 55, up 25).

     Canada ranks sixth among CONCACAF countries in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

     Brazil continued at No. 1, followed by France but Argentina vaulted over the Czech Republic to move into third spot. Spain was No. 5.

     It marks the first time Argentina has been in the top three since the rankings were introduced seven years ago.

     The rest of the top 10 was Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway and Yugoslovia. Germany fell out of the top 10, dropping two places to No. 11.

     England moved up two places to No. 13 while Scotland fell one spot to No. 22.

     While France is the reigning World Cup and Euro champion, it will be hard-pressed to overtake Brazil in the rankings. As world champion, the French bypass the qualifying procedure for the 2002 World Cup and cannot take advantage of the points available from qualifying matches.

     Panama, the other country in Canada's current World Cup qualifying group, dropped three places to No. 122.

     The lowest ranked team was American Samoa at No. 203.



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