Nepal dropped one position in FIFA rank | The wrong sign in Nepal's campaign for 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Nepal has slipped down one place in the new rankings released by FIFA, the highest body of world football on 29th June Thursday . According to the new ranking released by FIFA on Thursday, Nepal has reached the 175th place dropping one place compared to the previous month as they were ranked 174th.

Why do Nepal loss one position in FIFA ranking?

In the ongoing SAFF Championship football in India, Nepal was eliminated from the group stage. In the first match, they lost to Kuwait by 3-1 and India by 2-0, while in the last match of the group stage, they defeated Pakistan by 1-0. Before SAFF, Nepal was even defeated with Philippines by 1-0. After losing their last 3 matches Nepal's dropped down one place. 

Where do other South Asian teams rank?

According to the new FIFA ranking, India is the top South Asian nation at 100th position. Maldives being second is ranked 154th. Bhutan, which is below Nepal, improved its ranking and reached the 184th position. Bangladesh is ranked 192nd, Pakistan 201st and Sri Lanka 207th.
  • India 100 (+2 improved)
  • Maldives 154
  • Nepal 175
  • Bhutan 184
  • Bangladesh 192
  • Pakistan 201
  • Sri Lanka 207

India one step closer to 2026 FIFA World Cup

As a total of 8 teams will be selected from the Asian continent in the upcoming World Cup, the recent FIFA ranking will also affect the Asian teams qualification scenarios foe the FIFA World Cup 2026 jointly organized by America and Mexico. After leaving behind 99th ranked Lebanon by a slight margin, India has moved up to pot 2 the pot 3. As a result, seems like it will be easier for India to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

2026 FIFA World Asian Qualification Scenario

A total of 45 Asian countries are placed under 4 different pots according to their FIFA ranking.

Pot 1Pot 2Pot 3Pot 4
  1. Japan
  2. Iran 
  3. Australia
  4. Korea 
  5. Saudi 
  6. Qatar
  7. Iraq
  8. UAE
  9. Oman
  1. Uzbekistan
  2. China
  3. Jordan
  4. Bahrain
  5. Syria
  6. Vietnam
  7. Palestine
  8. Kyrgyz
  9. India
  1. Lebanon
  2. Tajikistan
  3. Thailand
  4. North Korea
  5. Philippines
  6. Malaysia
  7. Turkmenistan
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Indonesia
  1. Winner R1
  2. Winner R1
  3. Winner R1
  4. Winner R1
  5. Winner R1
  6. Winner R1
  7. Winner R1
  8. Winner R1
  9. Winner R1

Here we will be discussing on the qualifying scenario for the Asian teams through AFC Qualification.

  • FIRST ROUND | 22 teams (ranked 26-47) will play home & away over two legs i.e. two teams will face each other twice. Only the 11 winners will advance to the second round.
  • SECOND ROUND | 36 teams ( ranked 1-25 in AFC + 11 winners from first round ) will be divided into 9 groups (with 4 teams each) will play home & away round robin matches. The total of eighteen i.e. 9 group winners and 9 group runners-up will advance to the third round.
  • THIRD ROUND | 18 teams that advance from the second round are divided into 3 groups (with 6 teams each ) will play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top 2 teams of each group qualify for the World Cup, while the 6 teams that finish third-placed and fourth-placed teams of each group advance to the fourth round.
  • FOURTH ROUND | 6 teams that advance from the third round are divided into two groups (with 3 teams each ) will play a single round-robin. The all 3 group winners qualify for the World Cup.
  •  FIFTH ROUND | 2 teams the group runners-up from the fourth round will compete in a play-off tie to determine the Asian representation at the inter-confederation play-offs.

Here Nepal (175) alongside with Bangladesh (192), Maldives (154), Bhutan (184), Pakistan (201) & Sri Lanka (207) ranked (26-47 in AFC) will play the first round with the weaker teams. Meanwhile India (100) will play from the second round where they will face the winners from the first round.

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