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Republic of Ireland slip down to 67th in the world


Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

THE Republic of Ireland's slide down the rankings continues as Martin O'Neill's side have dropped two places to 67th in the world.

Panama, Albania and the UAE are all ahead of Ireland in the world rankings now and Ireland are dangerously close to the worst-ever placing in the FIFA rankings, when the Republic dropped to 70th place in 2014.

Poland, Ireland's next opponents in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, are ahead of the Republic, in 40th place while England (15), Wales (34), Scotland (38) and Northern Ireland (51) are also above O'Neill's outfit, though Northern Ireland have dropped four places.

Meanwhile, Stephen Ward stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury by making an appearance for Burnley's reserve side. Sidelined since December with an ankle problem, Ward played 65 minutes for the Clarets' second string against Sunderland and is now eyeing a first-team return.