Thursday, March 15, 2007
The official FIFA World Rankings came out a few days ago.
Argentina tops the list, upending World Champions Italy in the process.
Let's see how our African friends are doing in the rankings:
Cameroon tops the list of African countries, #18 in the world. They're followed by the fast-rising Ghana, up three spots to #19 in the world and the Ivory Coast, nipping at their heels at #20.
There's a small drop-off after that, with Mali checking in at #35, followed closely by Nigeria at #36.
Some of the more interesting listings are for upcoming World Cup hosters South Africa, ranked eleventh in Africa and #60 in the world. They've dropped a spot since the last ranking a month ago. Current African Cup of Nations holders Egypt come in at #41 in the world, 6th in Africa. I expected them to be higher.
How about some of these other countries?
Gabon at #98, Tanzania at #110, Kenya at #128 (and being held back, as evidenced by yesterday's entry).
Further down the list we see Swaziland at #149, Madagascar at #184 and all the way down the list, Djibouti and São Tomé e Príncipe tied at #199.
I've never even heard of São Tomé e Príncipe.
According to Wikipedia, São Tomé e Príncipe is an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Africa (pictured, above). It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres respectively, off of the northwestern coast of Gabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. São Tomé, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It is named after Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who discovered the island on his feast day.
They gained their independence from the Portuguese in 1975. About 157,000 people live there.
Also according to Wikipedia (what a great source of information),
São Tomé and Príncipe is the second smallest (in terms of population) African country (larger only than Seychelles). It is the smallest country in the world that is not a former US trusteeship, a former UK dependency, or a European microstate. It is also the smallest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.
They have a football association and they're registered with CAF, but their association website seems to be down and I can't find information of their playing fixtures in my limited available search time.
Anyone have some answers to these perplexing questions?
Posted by Cesar at 11:21 AM