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Afghanistan Climbs Again in FIFA Rankings

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Afghanistan Climbs Again in FIFA Rankings

AFG FIFA Ranking jumpAfghanistan has climbed another two places in the global rankings of the international football federation FIFA, reaching its highest rank yet since it has been included in the index.

Afghanistan is now placed 139 for April 2013, following an already dramatic 48-place jump in March after qualifying for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2014 Challenge Cup to be played in the Maldives next year.

The national team defeated both Sri Lanka and Mongolia 1-0, but were held by hosts Laos 1-1. However, it was enough to qualify for the tournament proper as the Group C leaders and one of the seven qualifiers out of 20 teams that competed.

It is ranked 21 out of 46 teams in the AFC groupings.

On the international FIFA scale, teams ranked either side of Afghanistan this month are Moldova (138) after dropping seven places and Thailand on 140 after dropping five places.

FIFA said it is committed to seeing the sport develop further in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is a remarkable case of football development,” the FIFA director of member associations and development Thierry Regenass said earlier this month in an article on the federation’s website. “In spite of the difficult situation the country has been facing throughout the past years, we have noticed a concrete improvement in terms of organisation and participation. We aim at further supporting AFF, particularly in the areas of administration and IT.”

According to a FIFA article earlier this month, Afghanistan had 19,781 officially registered players in 2006, but that figure has more than doubled to 54,000, according to the records of the Afghan Football Federation.

The Afghan national football coach Yousuf Kargar has said that the best players of the upcoming 2013 Roshan Afghan Premier League will be selected to play in next year’s AFC Challenge Cup.

The 2014 winners of the AFC Challenge Cup will participate in the AFC Asian Cup 2015 to be held in Australia.

Source: Tolo News

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