FIFA rankings add salt to Warriors wound

The Warriors massive slide in the latest FIFA Coca Cola World rankings table could not come at a worse time for a nation that is still battling to come to terms with missing out on qualification for next year’s African Nations Cup.


A fortnight after the perennial underachievers failed to make it to the biennial tournament scheduled for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, the world football governing body’s rankings show the men’s senior national team among the highest droppers in the monthly rankings.

The Warriors, as the Norman Mapeza-coached outfit is rather inaptly known, dropped eight places down to a lowly 74th in the world and 17th in the continent.

FIFA attributed the downslide to a forgettable past few weeks when the team lost 1-2 away to football nonentities Cape Verde.

The defeat brought to an end a disappointing and largely chaotic campaign to qualify for Africa’s premier football tournament.

Before the plunge in the rankings ahead of the weekend, The Warriors appeared on course to make it to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon but flattered to deceive when it mattered most in Praia, the capital city of the Atlantic Ocean island of Cape Verde.

Analysts forecasted a further drop in the rankings in the upcoming months considering the team’s inactiveness in the Nations Cup.

“The fact that Zimbabwe will not take part in the tournament means rival teams can amass vital points in the African Nations Cup campaign,” said a Johannesburg-based football critic.

At its peak, Zimbabwe were ranked 45th in the world, a position achieved in the early 1990s when the late Reinhard Fabisch was in charge.

Meanwhile, Spain retained their place at the top of the standings following an impressive qualification campaign for next year’s Euro Championships.

The Netherlands remain second. Germany Uruguay and Brazil complete the top five.

The next rankings table will be released on November 23.

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