After their successful World Cup qualification matches against Sri Lanka, with wins both home and away, Bhutan’s rise from the foot of the world rankings has been confirmed in the latest FIFA rankings.
The fact that their results came in World Cup competition and against a significantly higher ranked opponent has led to Bhutan earning a whopping 128 rankings points for their exploits. From a stone-cold zero beforehand they can no wallow in the untold riches of such a total. It has seen them rise from 209th position to a frankly startling 163rd on FIFA’s world rankings.
This is simply the most stunning rise from the doldrums that the Worst in the World has ever seen. They are now ranked some 32 places above their erstwhile opponents Sri Lanka and had in fact risen to such an extent that they bypassed the lowest seeding pot for the second round of Asian World Cup qualifying and landed in pot 4. This has earned them a second round group alongside China, Qatar, Maldives and Hong Kong, and an unprecedented set of fixtures to fulfil over the course of the next year.
Falling to the bottom, and replacing Bhutan as our new worst in the world, is the tiny British Overseas Territory of Anguilla. They had the chance to avoid this fate in their opening round World Cup play off with Nicaragua recently, but unsurprisingly, given the relative sizes of the two countries, Nicaragua won both legs. That meant Anguilla couldn’t avoid the slump to the basement in spite of having a couple of ranking points to their name.