FIFA rankings explained: Nigeria still above Ghana and Cameroon move up 10 places

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Cameroon gained 28.86 points to move up 10 places, Argentina gained 64.5 to move to 2nd while Brazil lost only 0.53 points to stay 1st.

Summarily, teams gain and lose points in the rankings based on clearcut parameters. The calibre of opponent faced is a key criterion. This explains why Cameroon’s lone win against Brazil enabled the Indomitable Lions move from 43rd to 33rd. If Cameroon’s lone win had come against a lowly ranked side, Cameroon would not have gained as many points.


FIFA rules also indicate that a win inside regular time counts more than a win in extra time or penalties. Note that Argentina won two of their games on penalties.

Also, FIFA stipulates that just like a win against a highly ranked side yields many points, a loss against a lowly ranked side leads to massive point loss. Note again that Argentina lost against Saudi Arabia, losing 39 points in the process. Other results helped Argentina recover and eventually gain 64.5 points.

Brazil meanwhile had a comfortable margin on the top of the rankings coming into the World Cup. They dropped points against Cameroon but penalty shootout loss did not do them much harm and other results meant they limited their damage to an overall loss of 0.53 points.

At the end, Argentina did not gain enough to go top. If Argentina had won their two shootout games in regular time, the Albiceleste would have had enough to be 1st. They are currently 2.9 points behind Brazil.


According to FIFA rules, test or friendly matches yield less than tournament matches. Nigeria lost 4.15 points due to defeats in friendlies, while Ghana gained 7 points notably thanks to their World Cup win over South Korea. The points gained only took them to 58th position with 1400.02 points.

They are still below 35th placed Nigeria that has 1494.32 points.


From the above, you can also understand why Morocco gained a whopping 108.85 points. They beat two highly ranked sides (Belgium and Portugal) in regular time while drawing with two other high profile teams Croatia and Spain in regular time, and even beating the Spanish side on penalties.

The current ranking considered the period from October 6th 2022 to December 22nd 2022.

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