As the FIFA World Cup starts in Russia from this week, here is how Asian countries are ranked by the global football body.
The FIFA World Cup begins on June 14 and countries across the world are gearing up for it. Only five Asian countries – Australia, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Saudi Arabia have qualified to compete for the world’ most coveted trophy in football.
On the global ranking, Australia is the only country from Asia that figures in the top 50. Australian team named Socceroos is ranked 36. The Socceroos are in Group C with France, Peru and Denmark.
South Korea is ranked 57 and is the only Asian country that has qualified nine times for the world cup. It is also the only Asian country to win the most entertaining team award at 2002 FIFA world Cup. Two players from the team were also voted members of the MasterCard All Star Team, the only Asians to be voted in. South Korean team is in Group F with Germany, Sweden and Mexico.
Japan is ranked 67 and will be making its sixth appearance in this year’s World Cup. It is one of the most successful Asian team having qualified for the World Cup for last six consecutive years. It is in Group H with Poland, Senegal and Columbia.
China is ranked 75. The highlight of the football feat in the country has been the year 2002 when the team qualified for the World Cup. India has never participated in the World Cup although the team qualified by default in 1950 when others team in the group withdrew. Currently it is ranked 97
Vietnam is ranked 102 followed by North Korea which is ranked 108.
Despite being one of the oldest teams in Asia that has been playing at international level as early as 1913, Philippines has never qualified for the World Cup. It is ranked 115. Thailand’s ‘War Elephants’ as the team is known were eliminated in the third round this year and couldn’t qualify for the World Cup. It is ranked 122.
Myanmar, Maldives and Nepal are ranked 138, 150 and161 respectively.
Indonesia under the name of Dutch East Indies national football qualified for the World Cup in 1938 and since then has never been able to qualify. It is ranked 164 and is followed by Cambodia and Singapore ranked 166 and 169 respectively.
Malaysia’s best standing in FIFA was ranking of 1993 when it was at 75th position. Currently the country is ranked 171 followed by Laos and Bhutan ranked 178 and 183 respectively. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are ranked very low at 194 and 200 respectively.
Pakistan is lowest ranked Asian team in FIFA ranking. It is ranked at 203rd position out of 211 teams in the world rankings.