S. Korea's FIFA ranking edges up one notch to 53rd place

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea edged up one notch to No. 53 in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday.

The rise can be attributed to the country's ranking points rising to 581, up four points from last month. This places South Korea at third place among Asian countries in the rankings compiled by the world football governing body.

Iran with 727 points ranked 34th place followed by Japan at 48th place. Both countries backtracked one notch vis-a-vis December.

Australia came in fourth place among Asian countries and 56th on the whole ranking scheme by having 571 points.

Because there were no so-called international A matches in the month, there was no change in ranking in the top 25.

FIFA defines an international "A" match as a match between two FIFA members for which both members field their first representative "A" team.

Spain, Germany and Argentina made the top three followed by Colombia and Portugal.

Of the three teams South Korea must tackle in the group stage of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, only Algeria fell in the rankings to 27th place, with Belgium and Russia standing still at 11th and 22nd placed, respectively.

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