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Jordan maintains 82nd spot in FIFA rankings

By Aline Bannayan - Apr 07,2016 - Last updated at Apr 07,2016

AMMAN  — Jordan remained 82nd when the FIFA World Rankings were issued on Thursday.

The Kingdom is now 9th in Asia trailing Iran (42), Australia (50), South Korea (56), Japan (57), Saudi Arabia (60), Uzbekistan (66), the UAE (68) and China (81).

Argentina took over world’s top spot as Belgium dropped to second trailed by Chile, Columbia, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Uruguay and England.

Jordan was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers doubling as part of the qualification for 2019 Asian Cup after a dismal 5-1 defeat to Australia. 

The qualifying journey ended in Round 1 after an inconsistent year that saw the national team lose 1-0 to Kyrgyzstan 3-0 to Tajikistan and scoring an 8-0 win over Bangladesh in Leg 2. In Leg 1, Jordan was held to a disappointing 0-0 draw with Kyrgyzstan, beat Tajikistan 3-1, Australia 2-0 and Bangladesh 4-0. 

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + one slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup. 

It has been an inconsistent year for Jordan’s squad which has seen three coaches leading the vital qualifying process. The line-up started off with Briton Ray Wilkins under whom the team failed to advance past the group stage of the 16th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2015 before Ahmad Abdul Qader took over in the transitional phase under whom the team played the first qualifier. Belgian Paul Put took over in July 2015 but his tenure was also suspended when he was caught in the midst of a court case over match fixing in the Belgian league. Harry Redknapp lead the team in the last two qualifiers with a focus on reaching the Asian Championship and keeping World Cup qualifying chances alive.

 

Observers noted the drawbacks of not playing friendlies ahead of the last two qualifiers and only beating Egypt 1-0 earlier this year under interim coach Abdullah Abu Zam’eh, while the host team did not employ its senior squad and Jordan played without most pros while some were on the injury list. 

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