Thursday, December 18, 2008

Australia cracks top 30

No, this is not a reference to the fact that Gabriella Cilmi's 'Warm This Winter' has debuted at number 21 on the UK singles charts. Though it might well be, because that is certainly the case, if you were wondering. What I'm talking about, though, is the Socceroo's surge nine spots up the FIFA world ranking to 28, their highest-ever position:

The FIFA rankings are flawed in many ways. But they do highlight the significance of moving into the Asian Football Confederation, probably the greatest single step that Australian football has made recently. Rather than flogging a succession of tiny island nations 10-0 then losing to Uruguay or Iran, we now have a real World Cup qualifying campaign that involves a succession of tough matches against proper opposition, which is reflected in our ranking. And Australian club teams are now able to mix it with the best in Asia through involvement in the Asian Champions League. Well done Roos, and long may our involvement with Asia continue.

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