But the 2006 winners Italy crashed out of the top-10 and the runners up from four ago, France, even out of the top 20 after both went out in the group stage of the tournament in South Africa.
Spain, who had lost first place to Brazil a few months ago, returned to the top with 1,883 points with the World Cup triumph on Sunday, 1-0 over the Netherlands. The Dutch moved from fourth to second with 1,659 points while quarter-final victims Brazil dropped from first to third with 1,536 points.
Semi-finalists Uruguay shot from 16th to a ranking best sixth place, Egypt moved from 14th to ninth even though they did not play at the World Cup, and Chile climbed from 18th to 10th.
Two match officials, Uruguay’s Jorge Larrionda and Italy’s Roberto Rosetti, whose blunders have prompted FIFA to rethink using video technology, will not referee another match in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
They were left off the list of 19 referees announced by FIFA on Tuesday to take part in the rest of the competition although football’s world governing body gave no explanation.
Larrionda and his linesman failed to see an England shot clearly cross the line in a 4-1 loss to Germany in a second round game on Sunday.
Frank Lampard’s shot hit the bar and bounced down behind the line before spinning back into play. It would have made the score 2-2.
England and Germany just made it into the knock-out stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday together with the United States but Australia went out despite a victory that paradoxically saved Africa’s chances.
Ghana, the continent’s last real hope, lost 1-0 to Germany after a thundering 60th minute strike by Mesut Ozil, but finished second in Group D thanks to the Socceroos convincing 2-1 victory over Serbia.
Two half brothers faced each other for the first time at a World Cup when Kevin-Prince Boateng played for Ghana and Jerome Boateng for Germany.
England finally found some of their form to beat a feisty Slovenia, who saw their chance of qualification from Group C agonisingly stolen at the last moment by a USA goal by Landon Donovan in injury time against Algeria.
The last gasp USA victory sparked scenes of joy in Pretoria among American fans and gave them first place in the group over England.
Germany got off to the perfect start in the 2010 FIFA World Cup by thrashing Australia 4 – 0 in their opening encounter in Durban.
With a young squad and without injured Michael Ballack, the Germans went on a scoring rampage. Lukas Podolski opened their account in the eighth minute before veteran Miroslav Klose doubled the lead before the half-hour mark.
Cheered by the green and gold fans at the Durban Stadium, the Socceroos showed more determination after the re-start but saw their challenge take a fatal hit when Tim Cahill was shown a straight red card in the 56th minute following a late tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The UK press had no mercy on England goalkeeper Robert Green for his blunder that cost England their win against the USA in their World cup encounter.
The weekly press printed frame-by-frame images of Green’s error, with the front pages of the News of the World and the Sunday Mirror both reading “Hand of Clod”, accompanied by a giant picture of Green.
Any England goalkeeper guilty of a clanger is given merciless treatment by the national newspapers, with international careers usually then brought to a shuddering halt.
David Seaman, David James, Paul Robinson and Scott Carson can all testify to that.
“Cock-up keeper Green wrecks dream start,” said the News of the World, adding: “Stars and tripe”.
Spain striker Fernando Torres will not participate in Spain’s opening World Cup Group H match against Switzerland on Wednesday,coach Vicente del Bosque said.
The striker looked to be near full fitness in training at Spain’s base in Potchefstroom on Sunday as he continued his recovery from the knee surgery he had in April but caution seems to be the priority for the coach.
“I don’t think he’ll play the first match, although he is not ruled out either,” Del Bosque said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Telecinco late on Saturday.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter believes that South Africa is a good choice as a World Cup host.
Blatter told reporters at Durban’s Moses Mabhida World Cup stadium on Tuesday that Fifa had never questioned South Africa’s ability to organise the tournament.
The first African country to host the soccer World Cup marked 100 days until the tournament kicks off with a ceremony in the east coast city.
Helicopters with South African flags flew overhead and a man bungee jumped from the roof of the eye-catching new stadium.
Blatter said that at times Fifa had to put pressure on the World Cup organisers and that the journey was “paved with trust and confidence, but with patience as well”.