Tuesday 27 September 2016

New low for Irish football as Martin O'Neill's men to be confirmed for Pot Four in World Cup draw

Published 09/07/2015 | 10:12

Ireland will be in Pot Four for the World Cup qualifiers
Ireland will be in Pot Four for the World Cup qualifiers

The Irish soccer team will be plunged into lowly Pot Four when the World Cup draw is made in two weeks’ time.

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The latest FIFA ranking were released today and although Martin O’Neill’s men rose eight places to 52nd, it is not enough to make the jump to the third pot.

It means the Boys in Green are now in the same pot as the Faroe Islands and Estonia while Wales have shot themselves right up into Pot One.

Wales have entered the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings for the first time in their history - and are now just one place below England.

Chris Coleman's side climbed 12 places from 22nd to 10th in the July rankings after beating Belgium last month to move to the brink of qualification for the European Championships next summer.

Wales were ranked a lowly 117th in August 2011 but they have enjoyed a dramatic rise ever since and now stand above France, Italy and Spain as well as newly-crowned Copa America champions Chile.

England have jumped six places to ninth after their Euro 2016 qualifying victory in Slovenia last month but Scotland are down one to 29 while Northern Ireland are up seven places to 37.

While FIFA have yet to confirm the pots, Ireland needed to be in the top 28 European countries to make it into Pot Three but currently stand in 32nd position.

As it stands, Pot Four looks like it will consist of Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Ireland, Norway, Bulgaria, Faroe Islands, Montenegro, Estonia. 

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