Wales suffer Fifa rankings blow for World Cup draw

Wales manager Gary Speed
Wales manager Gary Speed faces an uphill task in World Cup qualification

The final Fifa world rankings before the 2014 World Cup qualification draw make bad reading for Wales.

Despite climbing two places to 112th, Wales have been overtaken by the Faroe Islands and will be among the sixth and last Uefa seeds in Saturday's draw.

England fall from fourth to sixth after being overtaken by Brazil and Copa America winners Uruguay.

Republic of Ireland fall two places to 33rd, while Scotland remain in 61st and Northern Ireland in 62nd place.

Spain, the Netherlands and Germany remain unchanged in the top three places.

The Faroe Islands have been given the same 112th postion in the rankings as Wales but a slight points coeficient in the Faroe's favour means Gary Speed's side will be placed amongst the eight lowest ranked Uefa sides for the draw.

In June's Fifa rankings the Faroe Islands were initially placed below Wales, but a 30-year-old Romanian computer programmer, Eduard Ranghiuc, who runs a football ranking website spotted that the Faroes should be 0.07 points better off than Wales.

That means Wales will be grouped alongside the likes of Liechtenstein, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Andorra and San Marino.

England will be among the nine top-seeded teams in the Uefa section of the World Cup qualification draw, which will take place in Rio, while the Republic of Ireland will be in pot three, and Scotland and Northern Ireland in pot four.

Fifa ranking points are accumulated according to results, the importance of the matches played and the strength of the opposing teams.

A team's total number of points is representative of a four-year period, calculated by the average number of points gained over the past 12 months and the average gained from older games, though that points total depreciates yearly.

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