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U.S. Tops First Ever FIFA Women's World Rankings


CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, July 16, 2003) - The U.S. Women's National Team, winners of the FIFA Women's World Cup 1991 and 1999, and Olympic gold medallists in 1996, have officially been named the top team in the world in the first edition of the FIFA Women's World Rankings, announced today by FIFA at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

FIFA has ranked men's national teams for ten years, but unveiled its first women's rankings today to coincide with the Final Draw for the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003, being held tomorrow in Los Angeles at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 11 a.m. PT.

Following the USA is reigning Olympic champion Norway and European champion Germany, with 2007 Women's World Cup host China in fourth place.  A resurgent Sweden is ranked fifth, followed by South American champion Brazil and Asian champion North Korea. 

The U.S. Women have lost only three matches in the last two calendars years, two to Norway and one to China and are 9-1-3 in 2003.  The U.S. Women's National Team has a record of 222-47-30 since the start of the program in 1985.  In addition to winning three world championships, the USA finished third at the 1995 Women's World Cup and second at the 2000 Olympics.

The World Ranking is determined on the basis of a performance rating that takes into account numerous factors such as results, home advantage, importance of each match and the difference in the strength of the two teams involved.  Calculated and managed by FIFA in collaboration with international sports information provider Infostrada Sports, the ranking will appear four times each year. The next FIFA Women's World Ranking will be published on August 29, 2003. 

The inaugural ranking was calculated using a comprehensive database of over 3,000 matches played between 1971 and the present.  FIFA has high hopes that the FIFA Women's World Ranking will spark further interest in the sport, while also providing an accurate yardstick for comparing the 100+ national teams that are currently active and a starting point for statistical analysis of women's football.

In 2001, FIFA conducted a study indicating that 22 million active women are playing soccer worldwide.  Ninety-nine teams participated in the recently completed preliminary rounds of the FIFA Women's World Cup, more than twice the number that took part in the qualifiers for the first FIFA Women's World Cup in China 12 years ago.  Following are the top-10 countries in the first-ever FIFA Women's World Rankings as well as the rankings of all 16 teams that will participate in the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.

FIFA Women's World Rankings:
Ranking   Country     Points
1.       USA               2169
2.       Norway           2159
3.       Germany        2152
4.       China             2110
5.       Sweden          2073
6.       Brazil             2036
7.       North Korea    2004
8.       Denmark*       1967
9.       France           1963
10.     Italy *             1943
11.     Russia           1899
12.     Canada          1867
14.     Japan             1850
15.     Australia        1839
23.     Nigeria           1738
24.     South Korea   1727
35.     Argentina       1624
53.     Ghana           1458

Note: Denmark and Italy are the only two teams on the above list not participating in 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.

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