Ireland slump to lowest ever Fifa ranking

After Trapattoni’s last game in charge, national team drops to 59th from 44th

Former Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni alongside assistant manager Marco Tardelli in Vienna on Tuesday.  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni alongside assistant manager Marco Tardelli in Vienna on Tuesday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

The Republic of Ireland have sunk to their worst ever Fifa world ranking after the 1-0 defeat to Austria that resulted in the termination of Giovanni Trapattoni’s contract on Wednesday.

It was the Italian manager’s first ever away defeat, and it came by a solitary David Alaba goal, but it means a drop of 15 places in the rankings, from 44th to 59th.

Austria, incidentally, have made a comparable move in the opposite direction, jumping to 47th from 55th.

Before today, Ireland’s lowest ranking came in 1998 when the team was managed by Mick McCarthy, one of those mooted to succeed Trapattoni.

Ireland’s current standing will have no direct effect on seeding for the Euro 2016 qualifiers because the selection process for those groups will be based on Uefa rankings.

Roy Hodgson’s England have dropped three places to 17th. It is their lowest position since 2001 when they also occupied 17th place following a dismal run under Kevin Keegan that ended with the subsequent improvement under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The slide to 17th will invite further criticism of Hodgson, who has presided over an unconvincing qualification campaign for next year’s World Cup — one made notable for some dour football.

The position has ramifications for the tournament in Brazil as the top seven teams, plus the hosts, are expected to be among the seeded nations when the draw in made in December.

The grip of reigning world and European champions Spain on first place has strengthened and they lead Argentina, who have climbed two spots to second, by 251 points.

Germany have dropped to third and Italy climbed two places to fourth with Colombia in fifth.

Belgium’s rise continues after they powered up to sixth — a move of four places - but the biggest climbers of all inside the top 20 are the USA who have risen from 19th to 13th.

Scotland have dropped 16 places to 63rd, while Northern Ireland have jumped 23 places to 86th, despite an embarrassing defeat to Luxembourg this week.

Wales are now ranked above Ireland, in 52nd, despite a drop from 46th.

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