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Fiji Time: 9:31 AM on Thursday 24 April

/ Front page / Sport

Soccer falls 5 spots

Zanzeer Singh
Saturday, June 08, 2013

THE lack of international matches has seen the Fiji men's team drop five places in the latest FIFA world rankings to 182.

This is Fiji's lowest ever ranking so far since the inaugural ranking system was introduced in 1993. Fiji is ranked fifth in the Oceania region behind leader New Zealand, second placed New Caledonia, third placed Tahiti and fourth placed Solomon Islands.

The national side last featured during the second stage of the Oceania World Cup qualifiers in the Solomon Islands last year.

Fiji failed to go through to stage three after being placed third in its group. The national side, captained by Simione Tamanisau, recorded two draws and a win during the competition.

The Fiji Football Association held an urgent technical meeting in Ba last night to address the issue.

Fiji FA president Rajesh Patel said the rankings were based on the number of international matches played by the nations.

He said with commitments to the under-17 and U20 now completed, they would now look at the senior team.

"We will play Vanuatu later in the year," Patel said. "Plans will be drawn up to secure more international fixtures."

Fiji FA vice president and national team director Tarunesh Reddy and national coaching director Juan Carlos Buzzetti were part of the technical meeting.

Fiji's best ever rankings of 94 was recorded in July 1994.

Meanwhile, Spain remains the top football nation in the world. Germany is second, followed by Argentina, Croatia, Netherlands, Portugal, Colombia, Italy, England and Ecuador rounding up the top 10.