Zimbabwe Warriors drop one spot on latest FIFA rankings
The Warriors have officially dropped one place in the latest FIFA World Rankings that were announced by World football governing body, FIFA on Thursday.
According to the latest rankings released by FIFA this week, Zimbabwe who finished last year ranked 121 in the World and 31 in Africa fell down to position 122 and 32 respectively.
Warriors’ latest slump both globally and continentally comes after they encountered disappointing eliminations on two quick successions in competitive football they played in the past four months.
Initially, Zimbabwe were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers last year in November before they also got humiliated at the AFCON tournament in January.
They were the first team to be eliminated at the prestigious continental showpiece in a group they were regarded as favourites to progress to the round of 16 for the first time.
And they had been tipped as the favourites to win the tournament by South Africa’s football legend Lucas Radebe.
Albeit, out of three group stages matches they played at AFCON, Zimbabwe lost 1-0 to Africa’s new champions Senegal in the opening match and surprisingly lost 2-1 to Malawi.
The match disappointingly assured their exit at the biennial tournament, although they later found the winning ways but it was too late.
The Warriors got their consolation in a 2-1 victory over Guinea in their last Group B encounter but it was not enough to take them to the next stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the rankings saw their AFCON group opponents Senegal maintaining the top spot in Africa while Malawi who contributed in their elimination moved nine places up.
The Flames of Malawi are now ranked 119 in the World and seated on position 30 in Africa after displaying a tantalising performance in Cameroon.
They broke the jinx and reached the tournament’s knockout stages for the first time in their football history.
However, they could not manage to go beyond the round of 16 as they lost 2-1 to Morocco from behind.
Despite their exit, Malawi were celebrated and their last defeat was headlined by their striker Gabadinho Mhango’s 30 yard rocket shot which was deemed as goal of the tournament. Nehanda Radio