ZURICH (AP) — With Belgium still at No. 1, FIFA released its final rankings list for 2020 on Friday and set the seedings for the European portion of the World Cup qualifying draw.
Defending World Cup champion France is in second place, with Brazil third and England fourth. European champion Portugal rounds out the top five, with Spain in sixth.
FIFA will host the European draw on Dec. 7. The 10 top-seeded teams include Italy, which was seeded second four years ago and failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia after ending up in a group with Spain.
The Netherlands, ranked 14th, took the last top-seeded place, dropping No. 16 Switzerland into pot 2.
The 10 group winners will qualifying automatically for the 2022 tournament in Qatar. The 10 runners-up will enter the playoffs, joined by two teams from the Nations League groups.
Argentina moved up one place to No. 7 after two rounds of World Cup qualifying in South America. Uruguay fell one place to No. 8.
At No. 9, Mexico is the highest-ranked team from the CONCACAF region, while the United States stayed at No. 22.
Senegal leads African nations at No. 20, while Japan is Asia’s top-ranked team at No. 27. World Cup host Qatar dropped two places to No. 59.
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