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20.12.2007 General News

Ghana ends year at 43

By Accra Mail



Ghana has ended the year on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking at the 43rd position despite the Black Stars' lack of competitive games. December's ranking is relatively unchanged.

FIFA on Monday released the ranking for the last month of the year.

With Ghana billed to host next year's African Cup of Nations, the Black Stars were excluded from the continental qualifiers by virtue of being host as they engaged in friendly matches in a year packed with continental championships and qualifying matches which carries more points as compared to that of the friendly games.

The Black Stars are still placed 8th on the African continent's ranking table after having bagged 659 points, with no point recorded since the last time the ranking was published in November. Nigeria remains Africa's best side as they sit comfortably at the top followed by Cameroon.Two of Ghana's group opponents for the Cup of Nations are placed within the top ten teams on the continents ranking table. Guinea, who would play Ghana in the opening CAN 2008 game are third while Morocco are placed 7th.

Namibia, also one of Ghana's group opponents are still placed at 33rd.

In year which recorded six changes at the top, Argentina, ended at the top of the rankings, thus winning the title of 'Team of the Year'. Brazil are second with Italy holding onto to the third position.

In total, 901 international matches were played and taken into account in calculating the ranking. Around another two dozen matches are due to be played before the year is out, the majority in the CECAFA Cup in east Africa.

Those fixtures will bring the total for 2007 to about 930, the fourth-highest number of matches in history and the highest ever for a year following a World Cup.

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