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Cameroon Top-Ranked African Football Team To End 2002 - 2002-12-20


"The Indomitable Lions" of Cameroon are the top-ranked African team to end 2002, according to the International Football Federation, FIFA.

The reigning African and Olympic champions were 16th overall in the FIFA rankings, a jump of 22 places from December 2001.

The team Cameroon beat in the 2002 African Cup of Nations final in Mali, "The Lions of Teranga" from Senegal, also made a big leap in the FIFA rankings. Senegal climbed 38 places from the end of 2001, and wound up 2002 at 27th overall, good enough for second in Africa. The dramatic improvement by the Senegalese in the rankings also earned the west African team FIFA's Biggest Mover of the Year award.

Senegal duplicated Cameroon's 1990 achievement by advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals. Another African team that qualified for the 2002 World Cup finals, Nigeria, ended the year ranked third in Africa, and 29th overall. Right behind "The Super Eagles" of Nigeria, at 30th overall, is "Bafana Bafana" of South Africa.

Three north African teams, Morocco, Egypt and 2004 Nations Cup host Tunisia, are fifth, sixth and seventh in the FIFA year-end rankings. Rounding out the top-10 African teams, Zimbabwe is eighth, Ghana is ninth, and Ivory Coast is tenth.