The country’s national football team, the Super Eagles failed to make any movement in the latest rankings released by World football governing body, FIFA, on Wednesday as the Eagles held on to the 43rd spot in the world and 5th on the African continent.
Though the Eagles were inactive in the period under review, the latest rankings has capped a disappointing year for the country’s football having been ranked 11 places higher by the start of the year 2011.
Although many football buffs believe the monthly rankings have in some cases not reflected the realities on ground, there is no gainsaying that 2011 will go down in history as one of the worst for football in Nigeria
The different national teams put up strings of unimpressive results all year round. The Super Eagles failed in their bid to qualify for the 2012 Equatorial Guinea /Gabon Africa Nations Cup, a situation that resulted in the sacking of erstwhile coach, Samson Siasia.
The female team, the Super Falcons, who were previously unrivalled on the African Continent, failed to make it to both the All African Games and the Olympic Games, a situation that has never been since the inception of the female game in Nigeria.
Sadly also, the hopes of taking part in the football event of the London 2012 Olympics was dashed when the Dream Team V coached by Augustine Equavoen failed to pick one of the three automatic tickets allocated to the continent at the inaugural U-23 CAF tournament held in Morocco.
Football pundits as well as former national team players have called for a total overhauling of the administration of football generally as they opined that the country is not towing the right part. One of such persons is Sunday Oliseh, former captain of the Super Eagles. According to Oliseh, until the right set of people, particularly those with requisite knowledge are allowed to take charge of running the game, the country might not make progress.
Meanwhile World and European champions Spain topped the year-end football rankings for the fourth year in a row.
The Netherlands, Germany , Uruguay and England complete the list of the top five football playing nations while Brazil Portugal, Croatia Italy and Argentina complete an unchanged top 10.
According to FIFA, Wales were the best movers over the past 12 months, earning 330 points as the team of the late Gary Speed climbed from 113th to 48th place.
Côte d’Ivoire remain the highest ranked nation in Africa with a world ranking of 16. They are followed by Ghana (29), Algeria (30), Egypt (31), Nigeria (43), Senegal (44), Cameroon (50), South Africa (52), Cape Verde Islands (58) and then Tunisia (59)
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