Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland and Republic joint 26th in Fifa world rankings after GAWA's nine place jump

Northern Ireland have jumped nine places in the Fifa world rankings to 26th, joint with the Republic.

Martin O'Neill's side dropped two places and, given Northern Ireland's better results this year, means they sit just below Michael O'Neill's team on points .

The Green and White Army's latest ranking is one of their best ever places and follows on the back of their 2-0 victory over Norway which effectively ended the Scandinavians chances of making the World Cup in Russia.

Michael O'Neill's side next face New Zealand in a friendly in June before travelling to Azerbaijan for the next Group C qualifier.

Northern Ireland are five points behind Germany in their group and two ahead of the Czech Republic after five games played and remain on course for a play off place.

The Republic's drop comes on the back of a defeat to Iceland and a draw to Wales. They next face Mexico and Uruguay in friendlies before the visit of Austria for their next World Cup qualifier.

Elsewhere in the rankings Wales remain a place above England in 13th place while Scotland sit 59th.

Brazil top the table for the first time in seven years.

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