Gambia ends year at 166 on FIFA rankings

The Gambia finished 2018 as the 166th best footballing nation in the world in the rankings released by football governing body FIFA.

FIFA released the December’s standings with the Scorpions unmoved from the position they had in November after moving up seven places.

The ranking is a decline from last year’s when the country ended on position 160.

On the continental level, Senegal continue to top the standings (23rd), followed by Tunisia (26) and Morocco (40).

Belgium will begin 2019 at the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, having preserved their single-point lead over France at the table’s summit and emerged as the Ranking’s ‘Team of the Year’.

Les Bleus’ stellar 2018 does not go unrecognised though, with the world champions established as the year’s ‘Best Mover’, having gained more points (165) since December 2017 than any other nation. The French lead that particular table from Uruguay (7th, unchanged) and Kosovo (131st, unchanged), who have registered net gains of 151 and 133 points respectively.

The Kosovans, meanwhile, are the biggest climbers in terms of ranks gained, having moved up 46 places since this time last year, comfortably ahead of the respective 31 and 30-place rises registered by Kuwait (158th, unchanged) and El Salvador (70th, unchanged).

It has been a good year in general for Europe, which now accounts for 31 of the top 50 teams – two up from December 2017. Asia has also boosted its top-50 numbers from two to three, with these rises coming at the expense of Africa, which saw its representation drop from eight to five.

The Ranking’s latest edition shows precious few changes, however, having been impacted by just eight ‘A’ matches in a quiet month for international football. The top 100, in fact, is almost entirely unaltered bar for a single-place swapping of positions between Oman (82nd, up 1) and Zambia (83rd, down 1).

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 7 February 2019.