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India rise two places in FIFA rankings

sports Updated: Dec 17, 2007 16:59 IST

PTI
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India climbed two places to 143rd in the latest FIFA rankings and was placed 26th in Asia.

The rankings released by football's world governing body finds Bob Houghton's charges with 158 points.

The rankings show that India has made some progress in the last 12 months as it was ranked 157th around the same time last year.

The improvement can largely be attributed to the title triumph in the Nehru Cup football tournament at home. However, the team led by Bhaichung Bhutia could not maintain the momentum and went down to Lebanon in the first round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

India has still a long way to go to reach its best ever FIFA ranking of 94 held in February 1996.

There is no change in the top 20 of the world rankings which are headed by Argentina ahead of South American rivals Brazil and world champions Italy.

Japan is the highest ranked Asian team at 34th place ahead of Iran (41st), South Korea (42nd), Australia (48th) and Saudi Arabia (61st).

At 26th place among Asian Football Confederation members, India is just a point behind Vietnam.