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Jordan 97th in FIFA Rankings, set to resume training

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 24,2020 - Last updated at Nov 16,2020

AMMAN  — Jordan dropped one spot to 97th when FIFA Rankings were announced ahead of the weekend.

The team has been idle after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world sporting agenda in the midst of the Kingdom’s matches for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar and 2023 Asian Cup in China.

After a long lull, the Jordan Football Association (JFA) announced the team is set to hold a training camp in Dubai on November 8-17 where it is slated to play Iraq and Syria in two friendlies as Jordan gets ready to resume the qualifiers.

It has been a year since last official matches as Jordan last played Taiwan beating them 5-0 in the qualifiers . Earlier results included a 2-1 win over Taiwan 2-1, losing 1-0 to Australia, holding Kuwait 0-0 and beating Nepal 3-0. Jordan is now third in the group and still has matches against Kuwait, Nepal and Australia but has complicated its qualifying chances as only the top team from each of the eight competing groups and four best second place finishers will move to the 2023 Asian Cup finals and Round 3 of World Cup qualifiers. 

Observers had pointed out to an incoherent line-up and postponing the local league as one reason behind Jordan’s unsteady performance. Experts and football analysts joined fans in calling on the JFA to terminate the contract of Belgian coach Vital Borkelmans who was brought in as an assistant and seems to have not been able to put the team on the right track.

Apart from official competitions, the team was not any better in friendlies nor were they able to go above 97th in FIFA Rakings throughout last year. 

In the latest FIFA World Rankings, Jordan is now 97th overall, 12th among Arab teams and 16th in the continent lagging behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams compared to their best ranking of 37th in 2004.

Jordan trails Japan (27), Iran (29), South Korea (38), Australia (42), Qatar (57), Saudi Arabia (67), Iraq (70), the UAE (74), China (75), Syria (79), Oman (82), Uzbekistan (84), Lebanon (91), Vietnam (94) and Kyrgyzstan (96).

In the top 10 Belgium is in the top spot with World Cup champ France in second, followed Brazil, England, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Croatia and Columbia. 

Tunisia is the top-ranked Arab team at 30th, followed by Morocco (39), Egypt (52) and Qatar (57).

In last year’s friendlies, Jordan lost 4-2 to Paraguay in a friendly against the team that reached the World Cup eight times, and had their best World Cup showing in 2010 when it was knocked out of the quarter-finals.

In the last edition of the Asian Cup Jordan reached the Round of 16. Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Cup finals four times. The highlight was at the 13th Asian Cup in 2004, when Jordan lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA Ranking of 37th. Jordan also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015 and 2019. 

On the world scene, the national team’s peak performance was in 2013 when the team was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time and advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie. The Kingdom had never reached that far in World Cup qualifying since first taking part in qualifiers. Round 3 had been the furthest Jordan reached in the past seven times since 1986 qualifiers. 

In 2019, Jordan finished runner-up to Bahrain at the 9th West Asian Championship. It was the fourth time for Jordan in the final after 2002, 2008 and 2014. Iran won the title for the fourth time in 2008. Iraq won the title once in 2002, Kuwait in 2010, Syria in 2012 and Qatar in 2014 and Bahrain in 2019.


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