Monday 20 November 2017

Ireland 34th in FIFA list

Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland are currently ranked 34th in the world. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland are currently ranked 34th in the world. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Jamie Holland

FIFA has confirmed that the seeding for the 2018 World Cup finals will be based on their October rankings.

This means that hosts Russia, currently ranked 64th, and the world's top seven teams will be in the first pot for the draw in the Kremlin on December 1, with the remaining 24 teams divided equally into three more pots, according to their ranking.

The top seven seeds as of now are Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and Switzerland.

The Republic of Ireland are currently ranked 34th, while Wales are 13th, with England 15th, high-flying Northern Ireland 20th and Scotland 43rd.

The October rankings will be announced after the final round of qualifying matches on October 10.

As in previous World Cup finals, only one team from each of FIFA's six regional confederations can appear in each of the eight four-team groups, apart from UEFA, which can have two in a group.

FIFA is planning to review its ranking system "after the completion of the 2018 qualifiers in response to feedback that it is possible for teams to boost their rankings by avoiding friendlies, particularly matches they might lose.

Irish Independent

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