Mixed feelings trail Nigeria’s drop in FIFA ranking

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A cross section of Football fans on Thursday in Abuja expressed mixed reactions to the monthly FIFA ranking  where Nigeria dropped three spots from the 33rd to 36th position.

Some of them expressed surprise that given Super Eagles’ performance in recent times and their qualification for the 2014 World Cup Nigeria would have moved up the ladder.

James Peters, the Assistant Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), said he could not understand the criteria used in the ranking as Nigeria lost grounds  in spite of improved performance.

“I do not understand how they go about it because we have done very well in recent times. We also played a Grade A friendly match with Italy which ended 2-2.

“ I think by all standards, we should have moved up; but I don’t seem to understand the method behind the ranking,’’ he said.

Peters said Super Eagles’ 0-1 loss to Jordan on Oct. 29 in an international friendly match could not have been used because Nigeria fielded the home based players in the game.

He said Nigerians should not be bothered by the ranking because “it does not reduce or add anything” to the Super Eagles.

“I think we should not be bothered with the ranking because it does not affect our performance.

“If we were to go by that, we would not have qualified for the world cup, because they didn’t rate us well.

“So, I think we should be less bothered by it and keep doing what we are doing and do it well,’’ Peters said.

Mr Victor Orji, President, Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA), said the drop in the ranking would make the Super Eagles to work harder.

“No matter what the criteria is, it is okay by us because it will make us work harder. When you are overrated, it could be dangerous.

“So, as it is now, it will spur us to work harder and be what we are aspiring to be with our national team,’’ Orji said.

A sports journalist, Kehinde Abdulrahman, said he was not surprised by the drop but was worried by the steps the Super Eagles lost.

“I was not really surprised that we dropped but with the fact that we dropped by three spots. I was expecting just one spot because of our loss to Jordan.

“I felt that our victory over Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifier and the draw with Italy should make us to avoid dropping.

“But that notwithstanding, the fact remains that the Super Eagles are getting better by the day and that is the most important thing for us now,’’ Abdulrahman said.

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