If Australia (then 54th) was hoping
for a half-decent promotion in its FIFA world ranking following its
World Cup
qualification ahead of much higher ranked Uruguay (17th), then it will
be disappointed after receiving only a minimal improvement of five
places to 49th in the latest FIFA rankings released overnight.

The latest rankings show yet again how the FIFA
rankings are akin to loaded dice pertaining to political power rather than a
relative indication of on-field ability. And the real power of the rankings will be felt even more keenly when the World
Cup tournament draw is announced in Leipzig in December, when rankings help
with seedings in determining the groupings.

While we were never likely to leap
by any huge rankings based purely on our qualification, Football Federation
Australia would surely have been looking for a more sizeable gain considering
we beat a much higher ranked nation. Incredibly, Uruguay fall only one place to 18th, for their failure.

I wouldn’t mind betting a sizeable
amount that should we meet Switzerland – the home country of FIFA president Sepp Blatter – in
Germany, who now reside at 36th (up 2) we will knock them off, while
our likely pre-Cup friendly against third ranked Netherlands is also something to look forward
to as a tangible indication of our relative strength under new manager
Guus Hiddink.

You can read about FIFA’s own take on the latest rankings, including singling out Australia as a significant mover up the
rankings with this pat on the back: “Australia’s second qualification
for a World Cup final competition after an absence of 32 years has hoisted the
association, which will soon belong to the AFC, into the top 50 teams (49th, up