Zambia is among several teams to have earned a FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking boost following a busy start to the year.
A combination of Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualifiers and several friendly tournaments have caused significant movement across the continents, and while the Zambians (100th, up 6) are this edition’s biggest climbers after clinching a spot at the Olympics with a shock triumph over Cameroun, they are not the only team ascending the order.
France (3rd, up 1), Brazil (8th, up 1), Korea DPR (10th, up 1) and Korea Republic (18th, up 2) have all edged upwards in the top 20, while both Slovenia (49th, up 1) and Jamaica (50th, up 1) are now in their highest-ever positions.
In truth, these gains are often indebted as much to others’ struggles as to the rising team’s successes. Korea DPR has leapfrogged Japan (11th, down 1), for example, due to the Nadeshiko suffering three straight losses at the SheBelieves Cup, while Slovenia and Jamaica have advanced thanks to Zambia’s surprise qualifying defeat of Cameroon (51st, down 2).
At the very top, the USA’s (1st, unchanged) long reign continues after the world champions lifted the SheBelieves Cup on home soil, but Germany (2nd, unchanged) have at least narrowed the gap after impressing at the Algarve Cup and gaining 12 ranking points – more than any other top-ten team in this edition.
The global order has also welcomed its newest addition, with Gambia (113th) increasing the number of teams in the ranking to 159 – the second-highest number on record.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 26 June 2020.