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Ireland move up two places in latest Fifa rankings as Belgium dethroned after Aviva draw

It follows an international window that saw Stephen Kenny’s men earn a creditable 2-2 draw with Belgium, as well as a last-gasp win over Lithuania.

The Irish team pictured before the Lithuania game.
The Irish team pictured before the Lithuania game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Mar 31st 2022, 5:04 PM

IRELAND HAVE moved up two places to 47th in the latest Fifa world rankings published today.

It follows an international window that saw Stephen Kenny’s men earn a creditable 2-2 draw with Belgium, as well as a last-gasp win over Lithuania.

Meanwhile, England are unmoved in fifth, behind Argentina (fourth), France (third), Belgium (second) and Brazil (first), with the Belgians surrendering top spot after their failure to beat the Boys in Green.

Wales are 18th, Scotland are 39th and Northern Ireland are 54th.

England have accordingly been confirmed in the top pot of seeds for Friday’s World Cup draw in Doha.

That means Gareth Southgate’s men will be in pot one alongside Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and hosts Qatar.

Holland, Germany and England’s World Cup semi-final conquerors Croatia are among the difficult opponents lying in wait in pot two.

Despite Wales being ranked 18th in the new table, they will be among the lowest seeds in pot four. They must face the winner of the semi-final play-off between Scotland and Ukraine in June for a place in the finals, with all three sides entered into Friday’s draw as one placeholder.

The bottom pot also contains two other placeholders, covering the Asian v South American play-off and one between Costa Rica, the fourth-placed side in the North American, Central American and Caribbean section, and the winners of the Oceania section New Zealand.

Each team in pot one will be assigned to Groups B to H, with Qatar automatically going into Group A. They will then be assigned a number in that group to determine the order of the fixtures. Qatar will be designated as A1, and feature in the opening match on November 21.

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The match schedule will be confirmed after the draw, to allow for the selection of optimal kick-off times for television and live audiences.

You can view the rankings in full here.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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