Nigeria rises in latest FIFA rankings, now third in Africa

As FIFA clears ex-England U-20 striker, Lookman, to play for Nigeria

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have climbed up four places in the latest FIFA rankings, notwithstanding exiting the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations, (AFCON), at the first knockout round.

Nigeria, now up to 32nd in the world, climbed above hosts Cameroon, finalists Egypt, and Tunisia who ended Nigeria’s run at the AFCON.

Newly crowned African champions, Senegal, remain the highest-ranked African side and 18th in the world. The Atlas Lions of Morocco are second in Africa and 24th in the world while Nigeria, third, is closely followed by Egypt, 34th; Tunisia, 36th and Cameroon, 38th.

Former African champions Algeria, slipped to 43rd, while Mali is down in 48th and Ivory Coast is in the 51st spot.

Other African countries that made the top 100 in the world rankings are Burkina Faso, 56th; Ghana, 61st; Congo DR, 66th; South Africa, 68th and Cape Verde, 73rd.

In a related development, former England Youth international, Ademola Lookman, has received his long-awaited clearance from FIFA in order to be eligible to represent Nigeria going forward.

The 24-year old, who is currently on loan at Leicester City, where he features week in-week out with the Super Eagles duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, had long expressed his desire to switch allegiance from England to Nigeria. However, delayed paperwork had denied him the chance up until now that the world football governing body finally approved his allegiance switch application.

Lookman, like many others of Nigerian descent, came through the youth ranks with England at both U19 and U21 levels. The former Charlton ace also helped England’s U20s win the U20 World Cup in 2017.

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