New rankings low for Brazil, high for Ecuador
BERNE (Reuters) - Five-times World Cup winners and 2014 hosts Brazil hit a new low in the FIFA rankings on Thursday as they dropped to nineteenth while Ecuador moved into the top 10 for the first time.
Brazil's 4-0 win over Bolivia at the start of this month, their first since Luiz Felipe Scolari took the reins for a second stint, failed to stop the rot after draws against Italy and Russia at the end of March.
Part of Brazil's decline is because they are not involved in World Cup qualifiers and friendlies count for fewer points under the complicated calculations system.
However, results have been far from impressive - especially against top sides.
They are the fifth-best South American team in the rankings behind Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay.
Venezuela (36), Panama (38), Albania (48), Equatorial Guinea (59), Tajikistan (112) and Afghanistan (139) all joined Ecuador in achieving their highest-ever position.
The rankings continued to make embarrassing reading for Asian football with Japan, the confederation's best-placed team, dropping three places to 29th. South Korea (42) and Australia (46) are their only other teams in the top 50.
Ivory Coast are Africa's best-placed team at 12th with Mexico, in 14th, leading the way for CONCACAF.
There was no change in the top three where Spain lead from Germany and Argentina.
Croatia moved to fourth to equal the position they achieved after finishing third at the 1998 World Cup. Bhutan, San Marino and Turks and Caicos Islands stayed level at the bottom.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Justin Palmer)
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