HomeSportSoccerWarriors plummet on rankings

Warriors plummet on rankings

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TREMORS of the Warriors’ defeat to Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier continue to be felt. A month after the senior national men’s soccer side fell, latest Fifa/Coca-Cola World Rankings indicate further falls for the squad.

Report by Henry Mhara Sports Reporter

According to the rankings released in Zurich yesterday, the Warriors plunged nine places down from position 89 last month to 98 on world rankings.

The team also lost some ground on the African continent, sliding from position 21 to 25.

Zimbabwe were beaten 2-0 by Angola in an Afcon qualifier — in a match they needed at least to draw to qualify for next year’s soccer extravaganza in South Africa.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) did not take the defeat lightly, claiming that the match had been fixed.

In a rage, the association disbanded the team, but kept the technical team headed by Rahman Gumbo.

In retiring the Warriors based on the disgraceful show in Luanda, Zifa said they would rebuild the senior team around the juniors.

However, the association has literally killed the same junior teams they intend to use to build for the future.

Only on Tuesday, the national Under-17 team failed to travel to Congo, Brazzaville, for an African Youth Championship qualifier.

The team now faces a three-year ban from the Confederations of African Football.

The latest blip comes just a month after Zifa failed to send the Under-20 team to Angola for an international match, owing to lack of funds.

In fact, there is absolutely no junior team to talk about.

Meanwhile, there have been plenty of movements in the latest edition of the Fifa/Coca-Cola World Rankings, with qualifiers for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, Afcon and international friendlies ensuring a number of changes.

In the top 20, leaders Spain and second-placed Germany remained unchallenged at the top, with Argentina moving into third place edging Portugal down to fourth.

Brazil, who are hosting the 2014 world finals and thus have no potential point-earning qualifiers, managed to stay on position 13, thanks to two runaway wins in friendlies against Iraq and Japan Ivory Coast maintained their top position in Africa as well as Algeria, Mali and Ghana.

Continental champions Zambia moved one place up to position five, swopping positions with former champions Egypt.

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