Republic of Ireland tumble to 60th, an all-time low in Fifa world rankings

Roy Hodgson’s England team jump seven places to 10th but it won’t get them a place in Pot One when World Cup finals draw is made in December

England coach Roy Hodgson. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Reuters

England coach Roy Hodgson. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Reuters

Thu, Oct 17, 2013, 13:04

The Republic of Ireland have fallen to their lowest ever position in the Fifa world rankings at 60th despite the midweek victory over Kazakhstan. Following defeats to Austria and Sweden, Ireland fell 15 places to 59th and were subsequently beaten by Germany.

Interim manager Noel King presided over one win and one defeat but the full-time successor to Giovanni Trappatoni will need to propel the squad back up the rankings.

Meanbwhile England have just missed out on a place among the top seeds for next summer’s World Cup despite making a considerable leap in the latest FIFA rankings.

Roy Hodgson’s team qualified for the tournament this week by finishing top of their group and have jumped seven places in the rankings to 10th, but it is not enough for them to make Pot One for the finals draw on December 6th.

Hosts Brazil, who are 11th in the rankings, are automatically seeded, while Spain (first), Germany (second), Argentina (third), Colombia (fourth), Belgium (fifth) and Switzerland (seventh) are also definitely in the top pot.

Uruguay (sixth) will be the other seeded side if they beat Jordan in a two-legged play-off, but if the South Americans lose, the last seeding place will go to Holland, who are joint-eighth in the rankings with Italy.

The latest rankings have also determined who will be seeded for the European play-offs draw, which takes place on Monday.

Pot One for that draw will feature Portugal, Greece, Croatia and Ukraine, who will each play two legs against one of the sides from Pot Two — France, Sweden, Romania and Iceland.

Rankings leaders Spain, the reigning world champions, are the only non-movers in the top 10, while Germany have replaced Argentina in second place and Italy have fallen four positions.

Both Switzerland and England have advanced seven places to enter the top 10, while Brazil (down three places) and Croatia (down eight places) in 18th have dropped out of it.

England manager Roy Hodgson clearly does not mind if his team goes under the radar in Brazil, and will use the shock European Championship triumphs of Greece and Denmark as evidence that the team should not give up on their World Cup dream.

“It’s pretty obvious we’re not favourites,” said Hodgson. “The main contenders are Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany I guess.

“Is it possible for a European team to win in Brazil? They haven’t done yet but anything is possible isn’t it?

“No one thought Greece would win the Euros in Portugal (in 2004) or for Denmark to get their players off the beach in 92, but they did.

“Every year it gets that little bit harder to look beyond the favourites but I am pretty sure all the European teams will be hoping to become the first one to reverse the trend. “We will go with the same attitude.”