Football

England slump to lowest FIFA ranking in 12 years

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Roy Hodgson's difficult week as England manager took a turn for the worse after it was announced that his side have fallen to 17th in the FIFA world rankings.

Hodgson was strongly criticised for his side's defensive performance during Tuesday's goalless draw against Ukraine, with BBC pundit Gary Lineker branding their display as 'awful'.

And to add insult to injury, England have dropped three places in the world rankings behind the United States and Switzerland.

It is their worst position since 2001, when Kevin Keegan had taken the side to a dismal run of results that led to his departure as boss.

Just one year ago the national side were in third position after reaching the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 before narrowly missing out against Italy in a penalty-shootout.

But England's ranking has sky-dived since a number of unconvincing draws in their World Cup qualifying games, despite the fact that the latest result in Kiev puts qualification for the tournament in their own hands.

After watching the team struggle to a point in midweek, former England goal-scorer Lineker tweeted: "Awful.

"What happens to some of these players when they pull on an England shirt?" 

He added: "When you see England pass it like they've never been introduced to each other, it does make you wonder why Carrick doesn't feature." 

However, Hodgson defended his team's performance in the game, insisting that the most important thing was the result which leaves them favourites to qualify from Group H for the 2014 World Cup in Rio.

Meanwhile Northern Ireland have risen 23 places to 86th in the rankings.

However the news wasn't so promising for the rest of the British Isles, with Wales and Scotland dropping to 52nd and 63rd respectively.

There were no prizes for guessing who tops the list, with World Cup and European Championship holders Spain failing to be ousted for first position since September 2011.

The rankings are as follows:

1 Spain
2 Argentina
3 Germany
4 Italy
5 Colombia
6 Belgium
7 Uruguay
8 Brazil
9 Netherlands
10 Croatia
11 Portugal
12 Greece
13 USA
14 Switzerland
15 Russia
16 Chile
17 England
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 Côte d'Ivoire
20 Ecuador

Selected others:

52 Wales
63 Scotland
86 Northern Ireland

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Topics:
England Football
Gary Lineker
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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