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FIFA Announces New Women's Football Rankings - 2003-07-17

Football's world governing body FIFA has launched a ranking for women's soccer, with the U.S. national team leading the pack, followed by Norway and Germany.

FIFA officials note that China is within striking distance of the top three, followed by Sweden, Brazil and South Korea.

The inaugural rankings for women's soccer come 10 years after introduction of the men's rankings, and are based on analysis of the playing histories of more than 100 national women's teams.

FIFA officials say a competitive year is likely in the sport because so little separates the teams at the top. Ninety-nine teams took part in the recently completed qualifying rounds of the FIFA women's world cup.

Unlike the men's rankings, which are updated every month, FIFA's world rankings for women's soccer will be issued four times per year, the next time in late August.