PNG women’s soccer 52nd on FIFA world rating

Normal, Sports

The National, Wednesday 28th December 2011

PAPUA New Guinea have reached their highest-ever position on the FIFA Coca-Cola women’s world rankings after defending the gold medal for the third consecutive time at the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, this year.
PNG Football Association president David Chung said the rankings were based on points scored when a team played an international match sanctioned by FIFA, the international soccer governing body.
The Pacific Games in Noumea was the qualifying tournament for the Women’s World Cup which helped push PNG by one point up the FIFA ranking.
Chung, who is also the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) president, said the ranking also depended on international friendly matches.
“If we play more international friendly matches with teams ranked higher we gain huge points. In FIFA qualifying you get more,” he said.
He said the ranking did not actually reflect the current strength of the teams.
According to the current FIFA ranking, Chung said PNG was placed second to New Zealand in the Oceania region.
PNG had leaped a step forward to 52 points.
PNG jumped ahead of other Pacific Island countries because of supremacy during international outings including regional meets.
After PNG are Tonga, who surprisingly did not play any international matches finishing third ahead of Fiji with 72 points while Fiji sit on 81.
Other countries in the region are Tahiti on 92, Solomon Islands 97, New Caledonia 100, Cook Islands 104, Vanuatu 107, Samoa 110 and America Samoa 117.
The OFC said on its website that world champions Japan had moved into the top three, the highest rank they had ever achieved.
USA remain at the top of the table but are under pressure from second-placed Germany, who are only five points behind them.
The next FIFA-Coca-Cola women’s world ranking will be published nex March 16.