Sierra Leone’s senior national male team, Leone Stars has been ranked 107 best football playing country in the world in the latest FIFA rankings for January 2022.

Compared to December where it ranked 108, Sierra Leone has now moved up one place and now ranks 107 despite an early exit from the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Sierra Leone remained static in points having gathered just 1174 points but moved higher in the total ranking.

Despite an early exit from the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations, the Leone Stars recorded an unexpected success story during the group stages grabbing two points in two games before losing their final group stage match against Equatorial Guinea which led to their early exit.

Featuring in their first AFCON tournament in 25 years, the Leone Stars had to face reigning champions Algeria and star-studded 2015 winners Ivory Coast in their opening two matches, and they remain firmly in the hunt for qualification after taking two points from the big boys.

Among the key characteristics of this Leone Stars side have been their rugged competitiveness and their unity — despite players from disparate backgrounds — with coach John Keister’s nascent English recruitment policy giving the team attributes that are serving them well in Cameroon.

Senegal currently sits at the 1st position in Africa and 18th position in the world ranking after emerging champions of the 2021 AFCON.

Previous AFCON champions, Algeria, who were number one in Africa, slipped to 43 in world ranking while Mali occupy the 48th position and Ivory Coast in 51st spot.

The number one team in the world ranking remains Belgium followed by Brazil, France, Argentina, England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Netherlands.

On its website, FIFA said the new ranking method named “SUM” relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the World Ranking.

“The points which are added or subtracted are partially determined by the relative strength of the two opponents, including the logical expectation that teams higher in the ranking should fare better against teams lower in the ranking,” the world football governing body said.