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Ireland fall 6 places in latest Fifa rankings, as World Cup seeding blow confirmed

As expected, Stephen Kenny’s side have been placed in Pot 3.

Stephen Kenny (file pic).
Stephen Kenny (file pic).
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

IRELAND’S DISAPPOINTING 2020 campaign, which saw them go winless over the course of the entire year, has been reflected in the latest Fifa rankings.

Ireland have dropped six places from 36th to 42nd, following the team’s poor run of form of late, which most recently included losses to Wales and England, as well as a 0-0 draw against Bulgaria that saw them narrowly avoid relegation from their Nations League group.

In addition, a play-off defeat to Slovakia last October means they won’t be competing at the Euros next summer.

All of which means that, as expected, World Cup qualification looks set to be slightly more difficult, with confirmation that Ireland will be placed in Pot 3, rather than Pot 2, which they just missed out on owing to recent bad results.

A total of 13 European teams will qualify for Qatar 2022 — the 10 group winners, as well as three additional teams via a subsequent play-off system.

The World Cup draw is set to take place on 7 December in Zurich, while the qualifiers are set to be played next year between March and November.

Elsewhere, the top six of the Fifa rankings remain unchanged, with Belgium top and England fourth.

Wales are the only British side confirmed for Pot 2, having jumped two places up to 18th.

Meanwhile, Scotland and Northern Ireland have dropped three and four places respectively, leaving them in 48th and 45th position, and ensuring they will join the Stephen Kenny’s side in Pot 3.

European World Cup qualifying pot seedings:

Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands.

Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania.

Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland.

Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg.

Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra.

Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino.

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Fifa world rankings Top 10:

1. Belgium

2. France

3. Brazil

4. England

5. Portugal

6. Spain

7. Argentina

8. Uruguay

9. Mexico

10. Italy

Selected others:

18. Wales

42. Ireland

45. Northern Ireland

48. Scotland

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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