World Cup draw is without 10 of top 32 in new FIFA rankings
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 24, 2017 08:09 AM
This is the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, named Telstar 18. The Telstar 18 has a retro black-and-white design harking back to the original Adidas Telstar ball used for the 1970 World Cup and Adidas says that in terms of structure, it's an evolution of the ball used for the last World Cup in 2014. (Oleg Shalmer)
ZURICH (AP) — Ten of the top 32 teams in the latest FIFA rankings will not be in the World Cup draw next week.
No. 10 Chile, No. 14 Italy, and No. 24 the United States are among those who will be missing on Dec. 1 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
All five of the Asian Football Confederation's World Cup entries are outside the top 32.
Defending champion Germany leads an unchanged top five ahead of Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, and Belgium. Spain is up two places to No. 6.
European teams that won World Cup playoffs this month rose in the rankings. Switzerland moved up three spots to No. 8, while Denmark and Sweden each climbed seven to Nos. 12 and 18, respectively.
FIFA used October rankings to decide the draw seedings, and avoided giving playoff teams an advantage.
Host Russia is the lowest-ranked team at No. 65, though it has played mostly lower-valued friendlies in the past year which weighs heavily in the four-year cycle of results FIFA uses to calculate the standings. No. 63 Saudi Arabia is the next lowest.
Mexico at No. 16 is best of the teams from CONCACAF.
Senegal moved up nine to be Africa's best at No. 23.
Asia leader Iran is in a three-way tie at No. 32, though is officially ranked just behind Ireland.