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Jamaica improve FIFA ranking

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz have kept their label as the No. 1-ranked team in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), but critically, remain outside of the world's premium 75 teams.

They are top flight in the CFU but - at 78th on the FIFA list - they are outside of the world's top tier that certifies regional teams having their players eligible to acquire work permits in Britain for overseas contracts.

The latest FIFA Coca-Cola rankings released yesterday, showed Jamaica up three places from 81st in the last ratings and six places ahead of nearest Caribbean rivals Trinidad and Tobago.

The Reggae Boyz defeated higher-ranked Canada 1-0 on Sunday in their only match computed in the latest ranking adjustment.

Top 75 range

With the exception of December, Jamaica spent all of 2009 within the top 75 range and enjoyed a year's best 64th in February, 2009.

T&T, who led the CFU rankings ahead of the Jamaicans in June and September last year, slipped two places to 84th but remain a clear CFU No. 2, ahead of third-ranked Haiti at 95th in the world.

There is no change among the top five, with Cuba (125th) at fourth and Guyana (126th) fifth in the region.

Antigua and Barbuda moved three places up the world list to 127th and displaced Barbados (128th) in the CFU's No.6 spot.

Grenada (133rd), Bermuda (135th) and Suriname (142nd) complete the region's top 10.

Stalked by Mexico, the USA retained CONCACAF's No.1 rating at 14th in the world. Mexico are 17th and continue to trail the Americans, who have been the confederation's top team for the past 15 months. Honduras (34th) are third and Costa Rica (45th) fourth in CONCACAF, followed by Canada (57th), El Salvador (71st), Panama (77th), Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

There is no change in the top frame, with Spain retaining the world's No.1 spot ahead of Brazil, with the Netherlands third, followed by Italy, Portugal and Germany, with France seventh, Argentina eighth and England ninth.

Egypt have jumped 14 places into 10th for their first-ever top 10 rating, following their repeat title success in Angola at the African Cup of Nations, which triggered several adjustments in the world ratings.