Jordan, Bahrain play in Pan-Arab Games final
Kingdom 82nd in FIFA ranking
Reported by Aline Bannayan | Dec 23,2011 | 16:43
AMMAN — Jordan will play for gold when they meet Bahrain in the football competition at the Pan-Arab Games in Doha on Friday.
Jordan beat Palestine 4-1 and was held 0-0 with Libya and Sudan before they beat Kuwait 2-0 in the semis to reach the final. Bahrain beat Palestine 3-1 in the other semi.
HRH Prince Ali, Jordan Football Association president, lauded the team’s achievements, noting the “future of Jordanian football looks bright’’ with a second tier team making the latest achievement.
The official national team did not represent Jordan at the Pan-Arab Games. Instead, technical director Adnan Hamad enlisted some players from the Olympic team and younger players on the national squad. After winning gold in 1997 and 1999 Pan-Arab Games, Jordan did not compete in football at the 10th Games in Algeria and 11th Games in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Jordan is 82nd in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Football ranking which was issued on Wednesday.
After playing all but one in Round 3 Group A World Cup qualifiers, the squad is now 8th among Asian Football Confederation (AFC) teams and 7th overall among Arab teams. The qualifiers saw them beat Iraq 2-1, China 2-0 and Singapore 3-0.
In the return leg Jordan beat Singapore 2-0 but lost to Iraq 3-1. They still have a match against China on February 29, 2012, but have qualified to be among the continent’s last 10 for the first time since taking part in the qualifiers in 1985.
The latest ranking saw world and European champs Spain still atop the ranks trailed by the Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, England, Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina.
Top 10 Asian teams in the AFC are four-time Asian champs Japan at 19th, followed by Australia (23rd), South Korea (32nd), Iran (45th), China (71st), Uzbekistan (75th), Iraq (78th), Jordan (82nd), Oman (85th) and Qatar (93rd).
Algeria still leads top 10 Arab teams at 30th, followed by Egypt (31st), Tunisia (59th), Morocco (61st), Libya (63rd), Iraq (78th), Jordan (82nd), Oman (85th), Qatar (93rd) and Kuwait (99th).
This year, the national team made it to the quarters of the 14th Asian Cup for the second time after 2004.
Jordan will play for gold when they meet Bahrain in the football competition at the Pan-Arab Games in Doha on Friday. Full story