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Jordan drops in FIFA Rankings, set to play five friendlies ahead of Asian Cup

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 27,2018 - Last updated at Oct 27,2018

AMMAN  — Jordan dropped two spots to 112th when the latest FIFA Rankings were issued over weekend as the team starts the countdown to the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE.

The latest drop comes after Jordan played two friendlies in the past ten days week holding Albania 0-0 and losing 2-1 to World Cup runner-up Croatia. Although the team cannot afford to lose time, it is now in a transitional phase after head coach Jamal Abu Abed was relieved of his duty by the Jordan Football Association as squad’s competitive form looked doubtful following a 0-0 tie with Oman and a 1-0 defeat to Lebanon.

Now, the squad is slated to play India on November 17, Saudi Arabia on November 20 within an internal camp before it leaves to Doha to hold a training camp in which it will play Kyrgyzstan on December 20, Qatar on December 24 and China on December 28 in the final phase of preparations.

While the team’s path to the Asian Championship was not difficult against relatively unknown teams in the continent, the Asian Cup is a different story. Jordan will play in Group B alongside Australia on January 6, Syria on January 10 and Palestine on January 15, as 24 teams will play in 6 groups with the top two from each group and four third placed teams advance to the Round of 16. 

The Kingdom’s competitive edge is lacking and judging by FIFA rankings it seems there will be a tough task ahead. Once among the Asia top 10, Jordan is now 19th in the continent trailing Iran (30), Australia (42), Japan (50), South Korea (53), Saudi Arabia (72), Syria (74), China (75), the UAE (81), Lebanon (82), Oman (84), Iraq (89), Kyrgyzstan (90), Uzbekistan (94), Qatar (96), India (97), Palestine (99) Vietnam (102) and North Korea (110). Tunisia is the top-ranked Arab team in the 22nd spot, followed by Morocco (47), Egypt (58), Algeria (67), Saudi Arabia (72). 

Belgium is now leading the world’s top 10 with the World Cup champ France second, followed by Brazil, Croatia, England, Uruguay, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark. 

Jordan ended 2017 at 107th — a position they did not better throughout last year.

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