Soccer

Bafana drop in FIFA rankings

2010-03-31 12:23
Can't see the light at the end of the tunnel? (File)
Zurich - Soccer World Cup hosts South Africa have plunged even further down the latest FIFA rankings released by the world controlling body on Wednesday, a few hours before their international friendly against Paraguay.

South Africa dropped from 81 to a record low 88, a result of their inactivity at international level even though they are currently in Brazil playing against club sides, matches that are not recognised by FIFA.

A squad of local based players remain unbeaten after seven matches with five victories and two draws, but sadly those are mere club fixtures and the FIFA ranking officials hardly even gave those results, some against third tier teams, a blink.

But Bafana’s real test ahead of the World Cup finals will certainly be during May and June when they will line-up against opponents like China, Columbia, Denmark and even Jamaica before opening the World Cup jamboree against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

Interestingly, their Wednesday night opponents - Paraguay - jumped six places up the latest rankings from 29 to occupy position 23 and no doubt victory over the South Africans at Asuncion could go a long way towards restoring Bafana Bafana’s image and ranking as the kickoff draws nearer.

At least World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan has hinted about a revolutionary plan aimed at improving the country’s rankings and ensuring that they occupied the top 20 position in the world within a relatively short period. How they will achieve this remains a mystery and perhaps even a miracle.

Many African countries also suffered similar fates with Nigeria also dropping one slot down from 21 to 22 and Cote d’Ivoire dropping three places down from 22 to 25 while Cameroon remained unmoved at position 20, probably a result of their impressive goalless draw against Italy during their last friendly game.

Top-20 ranked African nations: (world ranking in parenthesis)

1. Egypt (14)
2. Cameroon (20)
3. Nigeria (22)
4. Cote d’Ivoire (25)
5. Algeria (27)
6. Ghana (31)
7. Gabon (43)
8. Burkina Faso (52)
9. Tunisia (56)
10. Mali (57)
11. Benin (61)
12. Morocco (68)
13. Zambia (71)
14. Senegal (72)
15. Togo (73)
16. Uganda (74)
17. Malawi (81)
18. Guinea (85)
19. Angola 86)
20. South Africa (88)

Top 20 in FIFA's world rankings:

1. Spain
2. Brazil
3. Netherlands
4. Portugal
5. Italy
6. Germany
7. England
8. France
9. Argentina
10. Croatia
11. Greece
12. Russia
13. Chile
14. Egypt
15. Serbia
16. United States
17. Mexico
18. Uruguay
19. Australia
T20. Cameroon
T20. Switzerland

Read more on:    swc  |  south africa
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