TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iran's women's national football team climbed in the latest FIFA ranking released on Friday.
- Sports news -
Team Melli moved up two places to 70th in the ranking.
Nearly four months have gone by since the last FIFA Women's World Ranking came out, in which time more than 300 internationals have been played.
Not only has the European qualifying competition for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 got under way but the qualifiers for next year's AFC Women's Asian Cup and CAF Women Africa Cup of Nations have also been taking place.
Things remain unchanged at the top, however, with USA (1st, -) retaining first place, a position it has occupied since 2017, and Sweden (2nd, -) and Germany (3rd, -) remaining second and third respectively.
Yet behind the three frontrunners it is all change. France (4th, +1) has shifted up one place to fourth, leapfrogging Netherlands (5th, -1), who has paid the price for recent results against Czech Republic and Japan.
Spain (9th, +1) has also climbed up one rung on the ladder to move into an all-time high of ninth, while Switzerland (17th,+3) was the biggest mover in the Top 20, rising three places to 17th.
The most impressive results are to be found further down the Ranking. Nobody picked up more points over the period than Lebanon (140th, +5), who moved up five places to 140th courtesy of the haul it obtained in beating United Arab Emirates and Guam. In terms of places, Montenegro (85th, +13) outdid everyone, scaling 13 slots to reach 85th, thanks in small part to a win in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Aside from Spain, Northern Ireland (46th, +2), Venezuela (52nd, +4) and Philippines (64th, +4) have all achieved Ranking highs this December. Meanwhile, no fewer than eight nations have joined the global women's hierarchy, some of them for the first time (Niger, Sierra Leone and South Sudan) and others after many years of absence (14 in the case of Benin and Liberia).
The next FIFA Women's World Ranking will be published on 25 March.