South Korea continue to lead the way, while India are 19th in the latest Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Association (MA) Ranking which was released on Friday, June 10.
The East Asian powerhouse retained top spot ahead of second-placed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who have leapfrogged Iran to occupy third place.
A consistently strong showing from South Korean club sides in the AFC Champions League remains a key factor in the South Koreans topping the AFC MA Ranking. This season alone, two K-League Classic outfits – FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – have battled their way through to the quarterfinals of this season’s competition.
With the results of clubs participating in the last four years of the AFC Champions League and a percentage of their national team’s place in the FIFA Ranking also factored into the equation, South Korea topped the charts with 96.294 points – which included the maximum available Club Points – some distance ahead of Saudi Arabia who accrued a total of 92.938.
The United Arab Emirates, buoyed by the recent exploits of their teams in the AFC Champions League moved to third with a total of 91.533 points, while Iran, currently Asia’s top national team in the FIFA Rankings, had to settle for fourth spot in the AFC MA Ranking.
Iran’s overall total of 84.108 – which was made up of the maximum 30 points for the National Team points, but only 54.108 out of the 70 available Club Points – reflected the comparatively poorer showing of their club sides in the AFC Champions League over the past four seasons compared with the consistency shown by South Korea, Saudi Arabia and, more recently, the United Arab Emirates.
India meanwhile are in 19th position with its club sides regularly making it into the pre-quarterfinals of the second tier AFC Cup, while the national team hasn’t done too well in the last few years reflected in their poor FIFA World Ranking.
The AFC Ranking system is a recent initiative aimed at providing an indicator on how Asia’s top sides are performing on the continental stage as well as generating even more interest in the Confederation’s already popular club competitions.