Karl Decena, InterAksyon.com
The Philippines continued to fall in the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Thursday.
The Azkals moved down to 143rd this April from 130th last March to drop 13 spots in the world ladder. Prior to the slide, they held their highest ranking in history for three months at 127th.
The lack of matches for Filipinos this past month contributed to their fall in the rankings. FIFA calculates every country’s ranking based on match results (a win, a loss or a draw), its importance (i.e. a friendly or a World Cup match), and the strength of the nation’s opponent ranking-wise.
These points are then accumulated from the country’s past results in the previous four years, allowing some teams to move up or down in the rankings despite not playing any matches during a particular period.
The drop put the Philippines just fourth in Southeast Asia after topping the region for the past months. The Azkals are now behind Vietnam (116th), Thailand (140th) and Malaysia (142nd).
The Azkals have matches this April, starting with a training tour in Qatar this week that features matches against Nepal on Friday and local club Al Ahli Sports Club on Monday. A date with Malaysia for the second time this year is also slated on April 27 in Cebu. These are part of their preparations for the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Maldives in May, where a ticket to the prestigious Asian Cup in 2015 is at stake.
In Asia, Iran (37th) remained on top followed by Japan (47th), Uzbekistan (53rd), South Korea (56th) and Australia (59th).
Spain continued its reign as the number one team in the world followed by Germany, Portugal, Colombia and Uruguay.