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Players of Cote d'Ivoire celebrate with the Africa Cup of Nations trophy after the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Final match between Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire at Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan. /CFP

Côte d’Ivoire surges in FIFA Rankings after AFCON victory

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Africa Cup of Nations winners Côte d’Ivoire rose up 10 places to 39th in the latest FIFA Men’s World Rankings released on Thursday.

Côte d’Ivoire recovered from a humiliating 4-0 defeat in the group stage to minnows Equatorial Guinea and the sacking of French coach Jean-Louis Gasset, to put together an inspirational run all the way to the final, where they defeated Nigeria 2-1.

Meanwhile, runners-up Nigeria moved 14 places to 28th, while South Africa, who finished in third place, climbed eight places to sit in 58th place. The Democratic Republic of Congo, defeated in the third-place playoff match, climbed four positions to 63rd.

AFCON quarterfinalists Angola are the continent’s biggest movers, surging up 24 places and breaking into the top 100 to lie in 93rd place.

Ironically, former champions Senegal rose three positions to 17th place, their highest FIFA ranking, despite an early exit in the tournament in the round of 16.

Morocco remains the continent’s top-ranked side, rising one place to 12th position. The 2022 World Cup semifinalists also suffered a shock exit at the Cup of Nations in the round of 16 to South Africa.

Other teams on the continent that saw a significant rise in rankings are: Equatorial Guinea (79th, up 9 places), South Africa (58th, up 8 places), Cabo Verde (65th, up 8 places), Namibia (107th, up 8 places), and Mali (47th, up 4 places).

The next men’s rankings will be published on April 4.

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