With the chances of the 2020 European Championships being held this year dwindling fast, let’s take a look at the most recent rankings of all the countries with national teams in Europe.
In Group A, four countries advanced to the Final Four teams who will clash for the European title in 2020: Sweden, Italy, Finland and France.
The surprise in this group is of course Team Italy, who defeated Austria 21-14 in the final, decisive game, to win their division. Sweden downed Great Britain 36-14 to top their division, while the Finns overwhelmed Denmark in the key game in Division B. Finally, France had a tougher time than expected in their final game, finally getting by Team Serbia 13-7.
With that, the top five nations have been decided which includes Germany, the 2014 European champions and also World Games participant in 2017. So France retains their number one ranking but Austria has dropped from 2nd to 6th. Italy has made the biggest jump advancing from 8th to 4th. Although Serbia lost to France in their deciding game, they had blanked the Czechs 16-0 and have jumped from 10th to 7th. Great Britain slid a couple of spots to 8th while Denmark dropped from 7th to 9th.
The Czechs lost both their games in Division A but moved from 13 to 12th spot overall while Russia, despite losing to both Sweden and Great Britain, moved from 15th to 13th. The Swiss national team was soundly defeated in both their games, losing 66-0 to Austria and 38-0 to Italy and slid from 11th to 14th. Spain moved from 14th to 15th while Ireland, although not competing in the tournament, defeated Belgium for the second time in a year in an international friendly just before the tournament kicked off and moved up from 19th to 16th. The Belgians earned a tough road win over Israel and climbed from 18th to 17th while the Netherlands are now 18th. Israel advanced to 19th spot after beating Turkey on the road while the Turkish national team lost both their games in Group B and fell to 20th from 16th. Norway slid down to 21st while Slovakia remains at #22.
We realize that rankings are an inexact science at best, and there will be differences of opinion, but that is the beauty of it.
Let the debate begin.