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Stars rise, Spain hold fort in FIFA rankings

STARS-ERITREANAIROBI, Kenya, January 17- Despite being knocked-out of the Africa Home Nations Championships (CHAN) there is some encouraging news for Harambee Stars who climbed up seven places in the latest Coca-Cola Fifa Rankings.

Stars have gone up from the low of 134 to 127 as Spain and Ivory Coast continue their stay at the top of the global and continental charts in figures released on Thursday from Zurich.

“This is a significant leap for the team that has been on a drop for so long and our target now is to get to the top 100 so that it can be easier for our players to move to good clubs abroad,” John Kariuki, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) relations officer told Capital Sport.

The development comes as the team that is still without a head coach after Henri Michel took his French leave last month is scheduled to play a friendly against Libya in neutral Tunisia in mid February.

Kenya are a place below 2014 World Cup rivals Namibia in the standings ahead of the next round of qualifiers in March where Stars take on Nigeria Super Eagles as the Southern Africans play Malawi.

Under stand in coach, James Nandwa, Stars exited the second-tier continental competition earlier this month 1-0 on aggregate after Burundi forced them to a barren draw in Nairobi having pipped the team by a lone goal in Bujumbura.

World and European champion Spain leads an unchanged top 10 teams in the latest ratings.

Ecuador at 12th and Haiti at 38th both climbed one place to highest-ever positions as 46 international matches in the past month counted toward the standings.

Spain leads from Germany, Argentina, Italy and Colombia. Europe completes the top 10 with England, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia and Croatia.

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World Cup host Brazil remains 18th with Nations Cup favourites Ivory Coast the highest-ranked African team at 14th.

Defending champion Zambia dropped five-slots to 39th as with Mexico leading the CONCACAF region on 15th as Japan tops Asia on 21, up a position.

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