Pakistan women team to enter FIFA rankings

Pakistan-India action at SAFF Women Championship 2010

Lahore, 7 April : The current set-up of Pakistan Football Federation met another milestone when FIFA gave inclusion to Pakistan Women football team properly in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.”Under dynamic leadership of PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, we have worked hard for six years to build up women’s football and the appreciation from FIFA means very much to us and will inspire us to do even better,“ said Robina Irfan Chairperson of PFF Women Committee.

“During 11th South Asian Games in February 2010, we played against India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and FIFA accommodated us in Provisional ranking only as the ranking of a team is deemed official when they have played at least 5 matches against teams with an official ranking. We remained provisional when the lists were issued on 28 May, 13 August and 19 November 2010. But four matches in Coxs Bazaar’s SAFF Championship, with Mehwish Khan becoming first ever goal scorer for Pakistan, lifted us to an official slot when the Ranking was issued on 18 March 2011. We are now 121 in World and 22 in Asia,” said Robina.

Mehwish Khan - first ever goal scorer for Pakistan women team

“PFF has been highly active in boosting women’s football since 2005. FIFA and AFC has assured all kind of support and inclusion of our National Women team in World Ranking is great achievement for us and one day we will be able to get title of AFC Association of the Year, an award given to country in recognition of its exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of the game within their country particularly in the areas of (but not limited to) : Grassroots and youth development, Clubs and national league development, Participation in continental and world-wide competitions, Professionalisation of its administration and governance,” she added.

The FIFA Women’s World Rankings for football were introduced in March 2003, as a follow-on to the existing FIFA World Rankings for men. FIFA Women’s World Rankings attempt to compare the strength of internationally active teams at any given time.

“Women’s football is arguably the fastest growing sport in Asia and it is high time women practitioners of the game received separate and suitable recognition – on par with the men. Gone are the days when the women’s version was considered a pale and inferior shadow of the men’s game in our continent,” added Robina, mother of Raheela, and internationals Sohaila and Shlyla who regularly represented Balochistan in National Women Soccer.

She called PFF President’s work on Women soccer is a milestone. “PFF has made great strides in women’s football due to dedication of PFF chief. His decision to hire a full-time administrator dedicated to the women’s game has helped to open up competition and education doors for female footballers and officials in the country.”

With exactly 80 days to go until the kick-off of the Women’s World Cup Germany 2011, there has been no shortage of movement on the latest Ranking, which has mainly been caused by numerous high-calibre friendly matches. The top trio of the USA, winners of the Algarve Cup 2011, Germany and Brazil remains unchanged, however. Japan, meanwhile, have achieved their best position since the introduction of the ranking in 2003 by overtaking Sweden, thanks to winning their encounter with the Scandinavians in the Algarve Cup match for third place.

There are some important distinctions in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings formula. It based on every international match a team ever played, going back to 1971, the first FIFA-recognized women’s international between France and the Netherlands,thus are not weighted to emphasize recent results,

The men’s ranking system considers only matches in the last four years, weighted on a sliding scale, thus emphasizing recent results. Women’s Rankings are published four times a year as compared to monthly Men’s Rankings. The next Women’s World Ranking will be published on 22 July 2011.