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IBSA Blind Football World Ranking table updated

Brazil and Argentina perform their team huddle before playing in Chile last year (Photo Renan Cacioli-CBDV).The IBSA Football Committee has released an updated World Ranking as of January 1st 2018. The new ranking list now includes 49 countries, up from 42 on the previous year - a 16% rise.

The top four nations remain the same - Brazil leads the ranking, followed by Argentina, China and Spain - while Iran overtakes Turkey for fifth place thanks to its second place at the Asian Championships.

Morocco remains in seventh spot and Mexico takes 8th place from Japan thanks to a strong performance at the American Championships (Copa América). South Korea retains tenth spot.

The big movers outside the top ten are Great Britain, up from 16th to 12th, Mali, who shoot up to 18th from 27th thanks to their second place at last year's African Championships, and Egypt, up from 31st to 19th.

Caption: the Great Britain (England) squad celebrates after coming 3rd at the European Championships in Berlin in August 2017. 

New countries entering the ranking are Cape Verde (26th), Ireland (40th), Costa Rica (42nd), Guatemala (43rd), Honduras (tied for 44th), El Salvador (tied for 46th) and Nicaragua (48th). 

The new ranking table takes into account results at all major championships in 2017, including regional and sub-regional championships in Africa, America, Asia, Central America, Europe and South-East Asia. It also includes the European Division 2 championships and one friendly tournament.

In order to be considered for inclusion as a ranking event, blind football tournaments must be officially-sanctioned events or meet the criteria set out in the IBSA Blind Football world ranking procedure

Caption: Costa Rica enters the ranking table in 42nd place thanks to winning the Central American Championships in Guatemala in November 2017. 
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