Football

Ireland's Big Jump In World Rankings Not Enough To Prevent Lowly World Cup Seeding

Ireland's Big Jump In World Rankings Not Enough To Prevent Lowly World Cup Seeding

After a diabolical slip down the FIFA World rankings, Ireland are on the up once more and this time it's a decent jump. An embarrassingly low point of 67 was reached last year but after some slight improvements over the last few months, we're now up a hefty 8 places to a lofty 52nd position.

We're now 'just' 15 places off Northern Ireland, while Wales are making a mockery of the 'traditionally strong' nation argument to break into the top 10 for the first time in their history. While it's no secret that they have made the very most of the resources at their disposal, the fact that they sit in tenth, one place behind England, really goes to show what an incredible job they've done.

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Now usually we'd say that the rankings don't matter a toss but in this case they kind of do. This is the last rankings before the draw for the European section of the World Cup qualifiers takes place on July 25th.

While it was never really possible that Ireland could do anything about it over the past month, our lowly ranking has solidified our place in as fourth seeds for the draw in St. Petersburg.

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ESPN writer Dale Johnson had worked out the seeds last month and the latest rankings have just confirmed that.

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We'll always live in hope but it looks like it could be a very difficult task to make it through to Russia 2018.

Gary Reilly

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