Team Russia Returns to Top 30 in FIFA World Rankings

After Igor Akingeyev was struck with a flare, Russia won a 3-0 award.

Russia returned to the top 30 in the latest FIFA world ranking of men's national football squads published Thursday, placing 27th after months of stagnation in a lower position.

Russia climbed five spots to 27th, benefitting from the 3-0 victory it was awarded after an abandoned 2016 UEFA European Championship qualifier against Montenegro in March. Referees were forced to stop the match midway through the second half because of skirmishes between players and unrest in the crowd. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev was struck in the head by a flare shortly after kickoff. The object had been thrown from the Montenegrin fan section.

Defending World Cup champion Germany remains in first place of the ranking, followed by Argentina, the tournament's runner-up.

After exiting the 2014 World Cup without winning a match, Team Russia slipped to 23rd in the ranking after having held the 19th place prior to the tournament.

The country held its all-time best FIFA ranking in April 1996, finishing third after successful qualifications for the European Championship.

Team Russia will play its next match against the Belarussian squad in June.

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