Dominica’s recent impressive performance in regional football has seen them vault an incredible 46 places in the world to be 13th in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) rankings and 132nd in FIFA, the world football body.
The Dominica football players celebrate a recent victory.
The unprecedented rise in the FIFA ranking was the third best overall after only the Central Africa Republic (from 172 to 112) and Niger (from 154 to 100).
This represents Dominica’s second highest ever ranking in world football, which is 32 spots above where the country reached in the qualifying round of the 2006 World Cup. In the summer of 2004 when Dominica faced Mexico for a chance to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, the country moved from dead last in the rankings to 167th place. Mexico was then ranked sixth in the world. In 1998, the country was ranked 129th.
Today, thanks to an impressive run of form that has seen them qualify for the second round of the 2010 Caribbean Digicel Championship, they are enjoying some much needed recognition.
They have been outstanding this month, blanking Barbados 2-0 and 2-1 in back-to-back friendlies in Bridgetown and also beat the British Virgin Islands 10-0 in their opening Group D game of the Digicel Caribbean Cup. The team then went on to defeat the Dominican Republic 1 – 0 in Santo Dominigo.
November will prove to be a real test when they come up against Cuba on November 10, Antigua on November 12 and Suriname on November 14 in Round two of the Regional competition.
Also in the latest FIFA rankings released Wednesday, Guyana had risen to 98th in the world and are now only behind Jamaica in the continental rankings. The Reggae Boyz continue to rule the region despite dropping three places in the world to 79th.
Trinidad and Tobago's weak performances under coach Russell Latapy have cost them and they have slipped nine places to 106th in the world and are now third in the region.
St Vincent and the Grenadines have jumped 27 spots to 126th in the world and eighth in CFU, while St Kitts and Nevis are up 22 positions to 129th in the world and are now joint with Puerto Rico, who improved over 41 spots.
Barbados have risen 14 places to 107th in the world and fourth in CFU, despite less than impressive performances which have seen them win just once in five outings.
They lost twice to Dominica late last month, drew with St Kitts and St Vincent in the Digicel Cup, while carving out their only win against Montserrat in the same competition.