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Jordan ends year at 105th in FIFA Rankings

By Aline Bannayan - Dec 24,2016 - Last updated at Dec 24,2016

AMMAN  — The final FIFA Rankings of 2016 were issued on Thursday with Jordan going up four spots to 105th.

It is again the worst since 2009 as Jordan also dropped out of the Asian top 10 trailing Iran (29), South Korea (37), Japan (45), Australia (47), Saudi Arabia (54), Uzbekistan (62), the UAE (64), China (82), Qatar (87) and Syria (96). 

Argentina is still No. 1 ahead of Brazil, Germany, Chile, Belgium, Columbia, France, Portugal, Uruguay and Spain.

Jordan’s best ranking was 37th in 2004 while the lowest ranking was 152nd in 1996.

In its latest board meeting, the Jordan Football Association appointed UAE coach Abdullah Misfer to lead the national squad in its upcoming agenda for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers. The appointment of Misfer came soon after the termination of contract of Abdullah Abu Zam’eh, after the team’s latest unimpressive results in three friendlies in which they lost to Uzbekistan 1-0, held Iraq and Lebanon to a goalless draws.

Observers have been scrutinising the national team’s plan over the past period as Jordan was eliminated from 2018 World Cup qualifiers. That has led to more inconsistent results with five coaches leading the vital qualifying process in crucial qualifiers. The line-up was led by Briton Ray Wilkins under whom the team failed to advance past the group of the 16th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2015 before Ahmad Abdul Qader took over in the transitional phase under whom the team played the first qualifier for the 2019 Asian Cup doubling as part of the qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Belgian Paul Put took over in July 2015, but his tenure was also suspended when he was caught in the midst of a match fixing court case in the Belgian league. Harry Redknapp led the team in the last two qualifiers with a focus on reaching the Asian Championship and keeping World Cup qualifying chances alive. After elimination Abu Zam’eh who assisted Harry Redknapp led the team during the past summer. 

The Jordan Football Association entrusted Abu Zam’eh in the interim period and the coach recalled players from the Olympic squad and shifted focus towards a younger line-up to compete in the Asian qualifiers kicking off in March 2017.

During 2016, Jordan played 13 matches, including 11 friendlies coming out a winner in three matches, drawing in 5 and losing 5. Jordan scored 18 goals and allowed 16. Only two were official matches in which Jordan beat Bangladesh 8-0 and lost to Australia 5-1 in the double qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

The squad’s last tournament was the King’s Cup, an international football tournament organised in Thailand, where Jordan beat the UAE 2-1, but lost 2-0 to hosts in the final. 

After putting behind elimination from 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the upcoming Asian qualifiers will see group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup. 

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