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June FIFA rankings: Togo’s decline and Benin’s rise highlight West African football dynamics

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The latest FIFA rankings, released this Thursday, reveal significant movements among West African national teams. Togo’s Hawks have experienced a substantial drop, while Benin’s Cheetahs have made notable progress.

Liberia’s resurgence is a major highlight of the rankings. The Lone Stars have climbed 10 places, now positioned at 142nd in the world and 42nd in Africa.

This improvement comes after a successful June, where they secured a 1-0 victory against São Tomé and a 1-1 draw with Namibia.

Togo’s national team, however, has seen a significant decline. Following a 1-1 draw with South Sudan in Lomé and a 1-0 defeat by DR Congo in Kinshasa, the Hawks have dropped seven places, moving from 113th to 120th in the global standings.

This downturn contrasts sharply with the fortunes of Benin. Under the guidance of coach Gernot Rohr, Benin secured a 1-0 win against Rwanda and a 2-1 victory over Nigeria, the African vice-champions, resulting in a climb up the FIFA rankings.

Senegal, the top-ranked team in West Africa, has also experienced a slight dip.

The Lions of Teranga are now 18th in the world and 2nd in Africa, following a 1-1 draw with the DR Congo Leopards in Dakar and a 1-0 win against Mauritania in Nouakchott during the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Despite this minor setback, Senegal remains a dominant force in African football.

Ghana has seen a positive trajectory, reflecting their faultless performance in recent qualifiers. Nigeria, however, has not fared as well.

The Super Eagles’ poor performance in the June qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup has resulted in an eight-place drop. They now sit 38th globally and 5th in Africa.

The rankings provide a detailed view of the current state of football in West Africa:

1. Senegal: 18th in the world, 2nd in Africa

2. Ivory Coast: 37th in the world, 4th in Africa

3. Nigeria: 38th in the world, 5th in Africa

4. Mali: 50th in the world, 9th in Africa

5. Ghana: 64th in the world, 12th in Africa

6. Cape Verde: 65th in the world, 13th in Africa

7. Burkina Faso: 67th in the world, 14th in Africa

8. Guinea: 77th in the world, 15th in Africa

9. Benin: 91st in the world, 19th in Africa

10. Mauritania: 112th in the world, 26th in Africa

11. Guinea-Bissau: 115th in the world, 29th in Africa

12. Togo: 120th in the world, 32nd in Africa

13. Sierra Leone: 122nd in the world, 34th in Africa

14. Niger: 128th in the world, 37th in Africa

15. Gambia: 132nd in the world, 40th in Africa

16. Liberia: 142nd in the world, 42nd in Africa

These shifts in rankings underscore the dynamic nature of football in West Africa, where performances in key matches can significantly impact a nation’s standing. As teams prepare for future competitions, these rankings will serve as both a reflection of past achievements and a motivator for upcoming challenges.

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