The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013
PAPUA New Guinea women’s soccer has garnered recognition from the world’s governing body FIFA with their elevation to 47th in the body’s rankings and second in the Oceania region.
New Zealand women also improved their position.
The Kiwis top the Oceania women football with a ranking of 19 on the FIFA scale.
The PNG women’s achievement out-strips their male counterparts who are ranked 194 in the men’s FIFA ranking and ninth in Oceania region.
PNG women comparatively out-rank other Oceania men’s team such as New Zealand (57), New Caledonia (97), Tahiti (138), Solomon Islands (166), Fiji (182), Samoa (188), Tonga (190), Vanuatu (101), American Samoa (197) and Cook Island (261).
Admittedly fewer nations have FIFA-ranked women’s teams, nevertheless, the impovement in PNG women’s position has been a result of their domination of at events such as the Pacific Games and regional events such as World Cup qualifiers and Oceania tournaments.
The USA still head the women’s rankings followed by Germany, Japan, Brazil, Sweden and France.
The only improvement in position in the top 10 came from Sweden, who has overtaken France to move into fifth spot.