BERNE // The UAE's successful passage into the group phase of the Asian qualification for the 2014 World Cup has moved the side up one place in this month's Fifa world rankings.
In preparation for the first group game of the third round of Asian qualification against Kuwait on September 2, UAE play Qatar, who moved up two places to No 88, in Al Ain tomorrow night.
There is a new No 1 ranked team in Fifa's listings with Holland replacing the world champions Spain without playing a match last month.
Although their friendly against England was cancelled because of the London riots, Holland benefitted as previous leaders Spain were beaten by Italy to lose their place at the top.
The world and European champions Spain had held the No 1 spot for one year.
The Dutch became the seventh team to top the rankings since they were introduced in 1993 after Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Brazil's 3-2 friendly defeat by Germany cost them two places as they dropped from fourth to sixth, meaning that Uruguay, who remain fifth, are now South America's highest-ranked team.
Seventy-six 'A' matches were held over the past month, 60 of which were friendlies. Fifteen games were Asian qualifiers for the World Cup, and one was a Uefa Euro 2012 preliminary round match.
The weighting of matches which involve Asian Football Confederation teams has also marginally increased from 0.85 to 0.86. This means that the UAE will benefit more in the rankings from winning matches in the future.
The calculations were also backdated to August 2010, but Fifa stressed that this would have had no effect on the seedings for Asia's qualifying groups for the next World Cup in Brazil.
Top 10 rankings (last month's positions in brackets)
1. (2) Holland
2. (1) Spain
3. (3) Germany
4. (6) England
5. (5) Uruguay
6. (4) Brazil
7. (8) Italy
8. (7) Portugal
9. (10) Argentina
10. (9) Croatia