Thursday, October 1, 2015

Taifa Stars take four places leap

THE October edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking released yesterday shows a leap of four places for the national football team, Taifa Stars.

The country now occupies the 136th position while sitting in 43rd place out of 54 African countries after tallying 218 points, improving by 24 points from last month’s score.
The results of 149 international ‘A’ matches have been taken into account in the October edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, of which 25 were African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers played last month.
Taifa Stars played out a goalless draw with visiting Super Eagles of Nigeria in the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Dar es Salaam on September 5. This month will provide Charles Boniface Mkwasa’s side real opportunity to further improve their rankings when they take on neighbours Malawi in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers.
The Flames of Malawi have dropped five points in the October edition but still occupy a far superior position to Stars at 101. Nigeria on the other hand climbed one position up to 52nd. Uganda Cranes remains the best placed CECAFA team despite sliding four places to 75th this month, followed by Sudan who rest in 84th position.
Rwanda suffered a massive slump, after dropping 15 places to 93rd, while Ethiopia slipped five places to 108th. Burundi enjoyed a massive leap, moving 21 places to 113th, with Kenya nose-diving 15 places to 131st.
There are some notable changes in the new edition of the World football ranking. At the top, Germany (2nd, up 1st) have reclaimed second spot and trail leaders Argentina (1st, unchanged) by just 18 points.
Belgium (3rd, down 1) completes the top three. Other climbers in the top ten includes Portugal (4th, up 2) and Spain (6th, up 5), while Colombia (5th, down 1) and Brazil (7th, down 2) have lost ground.
Spain’s re-entry after three months is down to two wins in qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, while Wales (8th, up 1) and Austria (11th, up 2) have achieved their highest-ever rankings, with the latter having already qualified for next year’s tournament.
The biggest movers in the top 50 are Norway (34th, up 35) and Cape Verde Islands (41st, up 15).
A number of teams outside the top 50 have also made big leaps, namely Liberia (95th, up 65), South Sudan (144th, up 54), Nicaragua (95th, up 44), the Central African Republic (126th, up 42), the Cook Islands (166th, up 39), Georgia (110th, up 37), American Samoa (164th, up 35), Samoa (162nd, up 34), Finland (64th, up 28), Mauritania (89th, up 25), Antigua and Barbuda (83rd, up 22), Aruba (115th, up 22) and Burundi (113th, up 21).
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