The latest update to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking list has seen Scotland fall eight places to 49th. After June’s rise to 41st, Craig Levein’s side have taken a hit thanks largely to their own inactivity, having failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012, as much as anything.
The drop sees Scotland fall below Ukraine, who have gained a boost thanks to their Euro 2012 win over Sweden but also a number of African teams (Gabon, Tunisia, Egypt, Zambia and Mali) which isn’t surprising with the qualification process for the 2013 African Cup of Nations taking place.
Much is made of the fact that the rankings often fail to reflect the true ‘pecking order’ in international football, but for Scotland their continued presence in the vicinity of the 50 mark should be taken as more than a hint. Only a brief sojourn into the 60s in 2011 spoiled their run of hovering between the mid-40s and mid-50s, their natural place of rest since 2009 when a seven month spell in the top 30 marked a recent high point.
Scotland’s opponents in their bid to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup didn’t have the greatest month either, with Croatia (9th), Serbia (37th) and Macedonia (103rd) all dropping places. Wales stayed at 38th, as they were in June while Belgium rose a single place to 5th.
As for the other home nations, England’s journey to the quarter finals of Euro 2012 saw them rise two places to 4th, behind only Spain, Germany and Uruguay, while Northern Ireland rose one to 102nd. The Republic of Ireland, thanks to their awful showing at Euro 2012, dropped eight places to 26th.