Ireland slip below minnows Haiti in latest FIFA world rankings
IRELAND has fallen six places to 42nd in the latest FIFA world rankings after a series of poor performances by Giovanni Trapattoni’s team.
The Boys in Green are now level with Bolivia and west African nation Gabon, three places below Caribbean minnows Haiti who occupy 39th place.
Ahead of Euro 2012, Ireland were ranked 18th, but a disastrous tournament with defeats to Croatia, Italy and Spain meant a drop of eight places to 26th going into the World Cup qualifiers.
The slide continued throughout the autumn with Ireland dropping to 36th after suffering a record 6-1 home mauling at the hands of the Germans.
Ireland will now finish the year outside the top 40 for the first time since 2006.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland, who rose 17 places into the top 100 in the last rankings, continued their climb, rising four places to 96th.
England remain sixth, while Wales have dropped 16 places to 82nd, falling behind fellow Group A strugglers Scotland, who drop two places to 72nd.
Spain finish the year at the top spot, with Germany and Argentina remaining in second and third respectively, while Italy move into fourth spot.
A run of six wins in eight games in 2012 has seen Colombia move up from 36th at the end of last year and into the top five, while Portugal have drifted three places to seventh.