Football: Lions slump to worst-ever 171st spot

The Lions (in red) in action during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016.
The Lions (in red) in action during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016. ST PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG

The Singapore national men's football team have fallen to an all-time lowest world ranking of 171 in the latest table published by world governing body Fifa yesterday.

V. Sundramoorthy's Lions, on the back of poor results in recent friendlies, dropped 16 notches from September's ranking of No. 155.

The side's previous lowest ranking in the 211-team table was 165th, in June 2013, under then-coach Bernd Stange.

Singapore fired blanks in a 0-0 draw against Malaysia at the National Stadium on Oct 7 and, five days later, lost 0-2 to Hong Kong in another friendly.

With this latest blow, the Lions are now ranked behind minnows such as Belize (163rd), New Caledonia (166th), St Lucia, Cambodia and South Sudan (all 167th). Neighbours Malaysia are 164th.

 

  • FOOTBALL RANKINGS: SOUTH-EAST ASIA

    124 The Philippines

    136 Vietnam

    146 Thailand

    156 Myanmar

    164 Malaysia

    167 Cambodia

    171 Singapore

    175 Laos

    179 Indonesia

    186 Timor Leste

    192 Brunei

    SOURCE: Fifa.com

But Sundram and his players will have a chance to catch up in next month's Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, where they will meet defending champion Thailand, Indonesia and co-hosts Philippines in the group stage.

Argentina continue to top the standings for a seventh straight month.

The World Cup and Copa America runners-up are followed by Germany, Brazil, Belgium and Colombia. European Championship winners Portugal are eighth while England are 12th, a place behind Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales.

Former No. 1 Spain, who beat Belgium in a friendly last month, are back in the top 10.

A strong 2018 World Cup qualifying run lifted Iran 10 spots to 27th, the highest-placed Asian side ahead of No. 40 Australia .

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2016, with the headline 'Lions slump to worst-ever 171st spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe