Warriors tumble further on world rankings

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The Zimbabwe Warriors took yet another knock on the Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking after dropping from position 122 to 129, following their defeat in an African Nations Cup qualifier against Mali last month.

The senior national football team also dropped on the continental rankings, sliding to position 36 from 34.

Zimbabwe play Mali in the reverse fixture of the Nations Cup on June 5 at the National Sports Stadium. The Warriors went down to Mali on March 26 and did not garner points for the world rankings.

The Warriors coached by Norman Mapeza are not comparing favourably with their opponents in Group A, who are improving on their World Rankings.

Following the win over the Warriors last month, Mali improved on their ranking – moving five places up the ladder to position 70 this month, according to the world rankings released Wednesday.

The Warriors’ next opponents at home Liberia also improved on the global ranking — moving from position 160 to 159.

Group A log leaders Cape Verde, who are riding on seven points from three outings, climbed on the world rankings – moving from position 79 to 73.

The Warriors will end their campaign in the Nations Cup qualifiers against the Blue Sharks on October 9 in Cape Verde.

The Warriors are set to suffer further knocks on the world rankings if they do not win their remaining Nations Cup matches.

l Meanwhile, Spain and the Netherlands team they defeated in the 2010 Fifa World Cup final in South Africa continue to stride clear atop of the Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking, thanks to victories in Uefa Euro 2012 qualifying.

There was, however, significant movement below them on the latest instalment of the global ladder. Brazil (3rd, up 2) have reclaimed a podium position, while Germany (4th, down 1) and Argentina (5th, down 1) have lost ground.

Italy (9th, up 2) have returned to the top 10 after an absence of seven months.

The 2006 world champions’ good form continued last month with victories over Slovenia, their main rivals in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, and Ukraine. Italy’s progress is at the expense of Greece, who have slipped to 12th following two months in the top 10.

There were also some major movers in the top 50 of this month’s ranking, with Israel (33rd, up 25), Belgium (37th, up 25), Albania (50th, up 23) and Algeria (40th, up 15) making the biggest climbs of the teams in the top half-century.

Four teams — Montenegro (24th, up 1), Albania, Libya (58th, up 13) and Antigua and Barbuda (100th, up 1) — are currently in their highest-ever positions since the launch of the Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking in 1993.

A total of 124 international matches have been played since the last edition of the ranking five weeks ago, which has doubled the total number of games played in 2011 to 248. Of these 124 matches, 50 were qualifiers for confederation championships (29 in Uefa, 21 in Caf).