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Spain continue to hold top spot in FIFA Rankings

As expected, there are very few changes in the first edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in 2012, as precious little football has been played around the world. In fact, only 11 matches have been taken into account in the new ranking, including six games that were actually played in 2011. At the top, world champions Spain continue to lead the way ahead of the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, who are still close together in the chasing pack. Of the top 20 teams, only Chile have been in action recently, their 3-2 victory over Paraguay seeing them overtake Russia and move into 12th place in the ranking.

Although there has not been much movement this month, some teams have still climbed the ranking and are now in their highest-ever position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, namely Bosnia-Herzegovina (19th, up 1), Panama (47th, up 2), Estonia (52nd, up 5) and Belize (133rd, up 8). Montenegro (50th, up 1) have also returned to the top 50. This month's other winners are Uzbekistan (67th, up 8), Zambia (71st, up 8), Saudi Arabia (87th, up 9), Congo DR (116th, up 9) and Nicaragua (145th, up 9), who have all benefited from the devaluation of poor results in previous years to make significant progress up the table.


FIFA Badge of champions awarded to FC Barcelona

fcbarcelona_champions_badgeFC Barcelona today received the FIFA Club World Cup Champions Badge, a physical reminder of the club's emphatic triumph in FIFA's annual club event in Japan in December. Following on from individual awards for Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi at the FIFA Ballon d'Or, the Champions badge is an award for the whole team, serving as a visual acknowledgement of the club's status as the best club football team in the world.

The badge, featuring an image of the FIFA Club World Cup trophy and the text "FIFA World Champions 2011", will be seen on the shirts for the first time in Thursday's Copa del Rey match versus Osasuna. It will remain on the shirts until the final whistle of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012.


Messi, Sawa, Guardiola and Sasaki triumph at FIFA Ballon d'Or

messiArgentina's Lionel Messi collected the FIFA Ballon d'Or, his third consecutive title while Japan's Homare Sawa claimed her first FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala held at the Zurich Kongresshaus this evening. Pep Guardiola, the Spanish coach of FC Barcelona, and Japan's women's national team coach Norio Sasaki were the respective winners of the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football.

Messi's and Guardiola's FC Barcelona side concluded 2011 with victory in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, sealing another fine year which also included the UEFA Champions League, La Liga, Spanish Super Cup and UEFA Super Cup titles.


Spain continue to rule FIFA Rankings, Wales stock on the rise

World and European champions Spain remain unchallenged at the top of the table, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, who are all still competing in an exciting head-to-head battle for second place. As the top team at year-end, Spain are the Team of the Year for the fourth year in a row.

The title of Best Mover of the Year is claimed by Wales (48th, up 2) who, with 330 points, won the most points in 2011. The Welshmen find themselves back in the top 50 thanks to their outstanding performances in the second half of the year, with wins over Montenegro, Switzerland and Bulgaria in the EURO 2012 qualifiers. December saw the following teams achieve their highest position ever since the introduction of the world ranking: Bosnia-Herzegovina (20th, up 3), Panama (49th, up 2), Estonia (57th, up 1) and American Samoa (186th, up 18), who claimed their first-ever win in a World Cup qualifying match.


Sepp Blatter confirms ISL file will be published despite objection of involved party

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter announced his commitment to publish the ISL-ISMM file after receiving the full backing to do so from the members of the FIFA Executive Committee. Today, the FIFA President confirms his determination to publish the file on the ISL-ISMM case despite the fact that legal measures have been taken by one of the parties involved.

These measures request another thorough legal analysis which will postpone the envisaged publication of the ISL file.


Messi, Ronaldo and Xavi shortlisted for 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or

The contenders for this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the best player of 2011 and for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2011 award were announced today at a press conference held at the headquarters of France Football magazine in Paris in which FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, France Football CEO François Morinière, former French player Emmanuel Petit and Gaëtane Thiney, French international football player, took part.

In alphabetical order, the male nominees are: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Xavi (Spain), while Marta (Brazil), Homare Sawa (Japan) and Abby Wambach (USA) will contest the women's award.


Spain, England dominate nominations for FIFA FIFPro World XI 2011

The worldwide players' union FIFPro and FIFA today announced the 55 players shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2011 (see full list below), which is to be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d'Or in Zurich on 9 January 2012. The 50,000 professional footballers belonging to the players' unions across the world that form FIFPro took part in a secret ballot to nominate their peers for inclusion in their World XI – choosing the best four defenders, three midfielders, three forwards and goalkeeper of 2011.

World champions Spain have the most players in the shortlist with twelve, followed by eight from Brazil, five each from Germany and England, four from Portugal, three each from France, the Netherlands and Italy, two each from Côte d'Ivoire, Argentina and Uruguay and one each from Serbia, Wales, Belgium, Colombia, Sweden, and Cameroon.


Prof. Mark Pieth presented as chairman of Independent Governance Committee

The renowned governance expert Prof. Mark Pieth was today (30 November 2011) presented as the chairman of the Independent Governance Committee during a press conference held at the Home of FIFA in Zurich that was opened by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. Prof. Pieth introduced his "Governing FIFA" report, in which he analyses FIFA's organisational structures and procedures and their abilities to deal with existing risks and challenges.

Prof. Pieth will chair a multi-stakeholder group of experts with backgrounds in law, sports, marketing and governance. The committee will be in charge of working on concrete proposals to improve FIFA's governance and transparency, and will receive reports from four existing FIFA task forces (Task Force Revision of Statutes, Task Force FIFA Ethics Committee, Task Force Transparency and Compliance, Task Force Football 2014).


Germany closing in on the Netherlands in FIFA Rankings

World and European champions Spain remain unchallenged in first place in this month's FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Although La Roja's defeat to England and draw with Costa Rica lost them points, their place in the ranking remains unchanged. Just behind them, a thrilling three-way tussle is under way for second place, with Germany edging dangerously close to second-placed the Netherlands following their 3-0 victory in the match between the two sides. Hot on their heels are Uruguay, who are continuing to make progress following their convincing 4-0 win over Chile in the South American qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazilâ„¢ and a victory in a friendly against Italy, bringing the 2010 World Cup semi-finalists' run of unbeaten matches to 13. Within the top ten, England (5th, up 2) have climbed up the ranking, as have Portugal (7th, up 1) and Croatia (8th, up 4) thanks to recent successes in EURO qualifying.


FIFA/CAF Conference kicks off in Johannesburg

The FIFA/CAF Conference on the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 kicked off in Johannesburg on Friday, 18 November 2011. The three day event is being held at the Sandton Convention Centre and will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2011. The aim of the gathering is to analyse FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 from a technical and tactical point of view, and also to discuss the development of women's football in Africa.

The conference started with the opening ceremony presided by Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA); Dr Molefi Oliphant, chairman of CAF's Women's Football Committee, and also the official representative of CAF; as well as Lydia Nsekera, the official representative of the FIFA President, President of the Burundi Football Federation, Member of the International Olympic Commitee and also Member of FIFA's Women's Football Committee. Nsekera is the only female President of a Member Association affiliated to FIFA.


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