Belfast Telegraph

As Northern Ireland climb up two spots, how do the new FIFA World Rankings work?

Find out how the new calculation works

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have both gone up two places in the latest update of the FIFA World Rankings.

Michael O'Neill's NI side have moved to 27th while the RoI have taken their spot in 29th. The two nations have moved past both Costa Rica and Iceland, who fell nine and ten places respectively.

Northern Ireland are now within three places of their highest ever ranking of 24th, achieved just last year.

World Cup winners France have topped the new rankings, moving up six places. England, meanwhile, have shot up six places to sixth in the latest list with Croatia big movers - the World Cup runners-up going from 20th to 4th, up 16 places.

Scotland are up two places to 40th with Wales dropping one place to 19th.

The nation moving most places is Russia, up 21 places to 49th while Egypt have dropped the most, down 20 places to 65th.

The next rankings update will be released on September 20, after Northern Ireland host Bosnia and Herzegovinia in the UEFA Nations League and Israel in an international friendly.

How does the new World Rankings formula work?

It took two years of reviews and studies to finalise the new formula. The aim is, fairly obviously, to make the rankings more accurate and reduce the potential for teams to manipulate the standings.

The main change is that rankings points gained are now added to / subtracted to the team's total rather than averaged. The calculation still takes into account the strength of the two sides and the importance of the matches.

If you're really keen to understand the exact details - a full explanation is available right here.

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