The latest edition of the FIFA rankings have been released for the month of September, and some important changes have taken place at the top as far as the African national teams are concerned.

Algeria headed the African charge in the list last month, with an overall position of 32nd in the world, and they have been top of the African pile since late 2015. The Fennec Foxes have now fallen from the top spot, moving three places down to 35.

The Black Stars of Ghana were second last month, but a heavy drop of eight places in the list saw them dip to a disappointing fifth on the continent after months of steady gains were cancelled out, with Senegal replacing them in third.

The decline of first and second place from the August release of the list means that a two-place improvement for Côte d’Ivoire sees them return to the pinnacle of the African rankings for the first time since the end of 2015, with an overall global rank of 34.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations victors will be pleased to have achieved the top ranking from an African perspective, according to world football’s governing body, though their overall rank will be a disappointment.

The FIFA ranking fails to appreciate the strength of the top African teams.

The FIFA ranking fails to appreciate the strength of the top African teams, with the best placed of the teams from Africa considered the 34th best national team in the world.

When one considers that only 32 teams qualify for the FIFA World Cup every four years, September’s ranking would suggest that none of the African teams would be worthy of a spot among the best 32 teams in the world – a ridiculous notion.