Jamaica cling onto CFU top spot

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Reigning Caribbean champions Jamaica finished the year at the top of the Caribbean Football Union rankings.

This followed the publication of the last edition of the World Rankings for the year on Wednesday by the sport’s World governing body, FIFA.

The Reggae Boyz maintained their hold on the No.1 spot, despite a seven-place drop that leaves them 54th in the World Rankings.

There was plenty movement in this month’s rankings, following the conclusion of the quarter-final stage of CONCACAF qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Surprisingly, Trinidad & Tobago advanced 10 places in the World Rankings to 76th, making them the second-best side in the CFU.

It was the biggest move in the CFU, and occurred despite the Soca Warriors failing to advance to the next stage of World Cup qualifying, after a string of feeble results, and having little or no playing time in the last month.

As result, Haiti, ranked 81st in the World, and Antigua & Barbuda, ranked 87th, were displaced and are now the CFU’s No.3 and No.4 sides.

Guyana, ranked 91st the World, after reaching the second last stage of World Cup qualification, advancing the same group that included T&T, complete the CFU Top 5.

Recent strong results have also shaken up the remainder of the top 10. Bermuda has been elevated to 107th in the World and Puerto Rico to 108th.

This meant that they are now the sixth and seventh best sides in the CFU.

Cuba has fallen on hard times in recent matches and have plummeted a whopping 23 places in the World to 115th, leaving them eighth in the CFU.

St. Kitts & Nevis advanced to 116th in the World and Suriname dropped three places to 125th to close out the top 10.

Grenada, semi-finalists in the Caribbean Cup a year ago and a contestant at this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, have also endured hard times, slumping 28 places to 134th in the World and 12th in the CFU.

The Spice Boyz’s plunge in the World Rankings is the biggest in the CFU and CONCACAF region, summing up a disastrous year for them.

An eight-place rise for Aruba to 164th in the World and 16th in the CFU is the only other news of significance in the CFU region.

Reigning World and European champions Spain remain unchallenged at the top of the table, followed the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, who are all still competing in an exciting head-to-head battle for second place.

As the top team at year-end, Spain are the Team-of-the-Year for the fourth year in a row.

FIFA said the results of 57 new ‘A’ international matches have been recognised in the current edition of the World Rankings, of which 51 were friendly matches and the remaining six were Oceania Football Confederation World Cup qualification matches.

In total, 1,046 matches were taken into account over the course of the year.

The next World Rankings will be published on January 18.

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