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Football | Nigeria

Chukwu downplays Fifa ranking

Former Nigerian manager, Christian Chukwu has said the latest Fifa world ranking will count as nothing at the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.

Fifa's ranking on Wednesday saw Nigeria move up five spots from their previous 57th position to 52nd while they maintain the 10th spot in Africa.

Chukwu said the world football body ranking is based on quality friendlies nations are engaged in and insisted that the country's status will improve further before the next ranking.

"Fifa ranking is all about friendly matches. I know between now and the next ranking we would have played more friendlies and will surely move further up the ladder.

"Of course, if we perform well at the Nations Cup it will up our ranking and we'll take our rightful number five position.

"It's nothing to worry about as far as the Nations Cup in South Africa is concerned," said the former Nigerian captain to supersport.com.

Chukwu said he is satisfied with the level of preparations for the Afcon game even as he insists that performance should be the basis for the selection of players.

"I'm satisfied with the preparations so far, I still believe the team will up their preparations as the D-day draws nearer.

"Ideally performances on the field of play should decide who gets a shirt not whether you're a local or foreign-based player.

"I don't care whether we take 100% local or foreign-based players to South Africa as far as the basis is on performance.

"My interest is to see in place a solid squad that will excel at the Nations Cup," said.

The next Fifa ranking will be on January 17 few days to the start of Afcon 2013 in South Africa.

Cote d'Ivoire remain Africa's best while Spain continue to keep their number spot in the world.


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