By Farayi Machamire
The Zimbabwe national football team will face a tough 2022 World Cup qualification campaign after they dropped three places in the negative on the latest FIFA World Rankings released Thursday for the month of July.
On the back of a forgettable African Cup of Nations campaign that ended with a 4-0 drubbing by DR Congo, the Warriors dropped three places and now occupy an unfashionable position number 112 in the world.
Zimbabwe slipped to number 27 in Africa, behind top seeds Senegal (20th in the world), who won silver at the African Cup of Nations and Tunisia (29th), who finished fourth in the continental tournament in Egypt.
The Warriors now face a long and winding World Cup qualifying campaign beginning with a preliminary tie in September before the group stages of the World Cup qualifiers.
Before the release of the latest rankings, the Warriors had a bye to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers as they were ranked number 26 in Africa but their latest drop means Central African Republic who were 27th has leap frogged them.
Central African Republic are now 26th and Zimbabwe 27th meaning the southern African nation will have to compete in the 28 lowest associations in Africa in the first round.
The first round will consist of 14 home-and-away ties, featuring the 28 lowest ranked teams in Africa.
The draw for the first round is scheduled to take place on 29 July 2019. The FIFA World Ranking of July 2019 will be used for the seeding of round 1.
Zimbabwe will aim to qualify into the second round of World Cup qualifiers which will see the top 26 ranked CAF teams joined by the 14 winners from the first round. These teams will be drawn into ten groups of four teams.
Meanwhile, Belgium remain the top ranked team in the world while South American champions, Brazil are second and France are third. ZimmorningPost