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FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Drops Two Places, Maintains Sixth Position in Africa

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World football governing body, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has released its latest ranking. In the table sited on its website on Thursday, the Super Eagles of Nigeria dropped two places from the 40th position to 42nd position with 16.04 points to rank 1474.44 points as against 1490.48 in October.

However, the drop did not affect the team’s placement on the continent, as it still remained the 6th team on the continent, behind Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt, respectively.

The drop in ranking comes after the Super Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw in their two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho on November 16 and Zimbabwe on November 19.

Paradoxically, Lesotho who were forced to a 1-1 draw by Nigeria in Uyo, climbed up from 153 in October to 148 in November.

Similarly, Zimbabwe which the Super Eagles laboured to force a 1-1 draw also rose from 125 to 124. Rwanda, the surprise team in Nigeria’s Group C rose from 140 to 133, courtesy of their impressive 2-0 defeat of South Africa who slumped from 64 to 66.

Although Argentina (1st) still leads the way ahead of France (2nd), England (3rd, up 1) is now in the trio of teams at the front of the pack, followed by Belgium (4th, up 1), who have also climbed one place.

Although Brazil (5th, down 2) have lost ground following back-to-back defeats by Colombia and Argentina, they have clung on to their place in the top 5.

The Netherlands (6th, up 1) and Portugal (7th, down 1) have traded places in the top 10, which is once again completed by Spain (8th), Italy (9th) and Croatia (10th).

Uruguay (11th, up 4) have made solid progress, but they have to be content with a place just outside the top 10.

The Comoros Islands (119th, up 9), meanwhile, enjoyed an even better month with wins against the Central African Republic (CAR) and Ghana, and have two reasons to celebrate as they are now in 119th place, their highest-ever position.

Kosovo (101st, up 4) may not have climbed as many positions as the Comorans, but the Kosovans are also now higher in the ranking than ever before.

Guinea-Bissau (103rd, up 7), Azerbaijan (114th, up 6), Libya (120th, up 6), Malaysia (130th, up 7) and Rwanda (133rd, up 7) are the other big movers in the November ranking.

The ranking also had the re-entry of Samoa (187th), American Samoa (188th) and Tonga (196th), who were all playing international football again following months of inactivity.

The ranking took into consideration FIFA World Cup qualifiers that took place in African countries as well as in Asia and South America.

The other confederations’ schedules considered included UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying matches, Concacaf Nations League 2023/24 encounters and the Pacific Games 2023.

These matches all had a significant effect on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, including on the make-up of the podium.

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Manchester City Wins Fourth-Successive Premier League Title

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Manchester City won a record fourth-straight Premier League title on Sunday by beating West Ham 3-1 in the final game of the season.

City is the first team to be crowned champion of English soccer’s top division four years in a row after holding off the challenge of second-place Arsenal, which beat Everton 2-1.

Two goals from Phil Foden in the first half set Pep Guardiola’s team on course for its latest title. Mohammed Kudus pulled a goal back for West Ham with a stunning overhead kick, but Rodri restored City’s advantage as it marched toward a sixth title in seven seasons.

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Nigerian Tennis Star, Quadri Aruna Shines at 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda

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By Dolapo Aina

May 14th will remain a remarkable day for Nigerian table tennis community and Nigerian table tennis legend, Quadri Aruna as he won the International Table Tennis Federation Africa Cup. The tourney took place at the Kigali Arena in the city of Kigali, Rwanda. The Nigerian table tennis maestro had a sublime 4-0 victory over Mohamed EL Beiali of Egypt.

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Dina Meshref who is an Egyptian table tennis player and who is African number one table tennis player were the newly crowned ITTF Africa Cup champions by winning the 2024 edition of the tournament in the men and women singles respectively.

Nigeria’s Aruna, had an unstoppable and commanding win in the final against Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali with a 4-0 (11-5, 11-6, 12-10, 11-3) win to emerge as the new Africa Cup champion. It is noteworthy to state that Quadri Aruna lost the title to Egypt’s Omar Assar in 2018.

After the final, Aruna stated that; “There is never an easy win in any competition, and I am happy that I gave my best and my best resulted in the victory. It has always been in me not to give up, even when I am down, and I am happy that all my hardwork paid off with the victory. I must commend Rwanda for providing excellent facilities and great hospitality for us, the players, and I look forward to returning again to this beautiful country.”

He is quoted to have stated; “I never gave up on my dream, it doesn’t matter where you come from, I came from a small place in Oyo state in Nigeria, and it was really difficult growing up, I just want to tell them that something great is very possible to happen in every individual.”

Egypt’s sensation Meshref was at her best after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat a fellow Egyptian, Mariam Alhodaby, 4-3. Meshref becomes the new Africa Cup champion after losing the last two editions in the final.

In her own words; “I am happy that I was able to come back, especially coming back from an injury I sustained before the tournament. I thank my family and my mother who sacrificed to be with me in Rwanda. It was a tough win for me here in this beautiful country and I will cherish this moment for a very long time to come.

She further stated that; “This title means a lot to me, just so happy to be able to fight and be able to reclaim this title, I wouldn’t have done it without my family, especially my mother who’s in the crowd. Thank you so much and of course, I want to thank God.”

Despite trailing 2-0, she fought harder with every setback, ultimately earning her 14th title on the African Continent.

Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu also congratulated Nigeria’s table tennis legend, Mr. Aruna Quadri, on winning the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Cup title.

In an official statement, the President stated; “Mr. Quadri achieved a resounding victory in the final match of the 2024 ITTF Africa Cup in Rwanda, reclaiming his title and sealing his place as Africa’s table tennis champion.”

President Tinubu commended the table tennis star for his dogged pursuit of excellence even in the face of gnawing obstacles, declaring that the zeal for distinction, the hardiness to succeed, and the inventiveness to solve complex problems are the exceptional qualities that define Nigerians.

Nigeria’s team at the end of the ITTF Africa Cup 2024 in Kigali had Men’s singles Gold won by Quadri Aruna, Men’s singles Bronze won by Olajide Omotayo and Women’s singles Bronze won by Edem Offiong.

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Amusan Sets New World-leading Time, Hailed by Sports Minister

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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