India slump to historic low of 168th in FIFA rankings

Last Updated: Aug 08, 2012, 20:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Two weeks before the start of the Nehru Cup international football tournament, India slumped to its worst FIFA rankings in history as it lost five places to be placed at 168th spot in the latest chart released on Wednesday.

Defending champions India will start the five-team Nehru Cup tournament, starting August 22, as the lowest-ranked side as the country continued its downward slide in the rankings.

As India did not play a single international match in the past month, it lost 15 points to slide to its worst rankings since the inception of FIFA rankings in 1991.

India`s earlier lowest ranking was the 165th spot, which it occupied in April this year and in April and May 1997. India`s highest ranking was in February 1996 when it was placed 94th.

Cameroon, static at 59th at the latest FIFA chart, would be the highest-ranked side in the Nehru Cup, while Syria is 147th after losing 15 places. Maldives are at 161st while Nepal occupies 162nd spot.

India are now ranked 32nd among 46 Asian countries with Japan leading the pack at 22nd, followed by Australia (24th), South Korea 29th), Iran (48th) and Uzbekistan (63rd).

World and European champions Spain continue to lead the 206-nation chart followed by Germany, England, Uruguay, Portugal, Italy, Argentina, Netherlands, Croatia and Denmark at top 10.

PTI