Warriors hit all-time low

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THE Warriors’ continue to suffer the consequences of their African Nations Championships (Chan) dismal display, plunging to their lowest ever Fifa world ranking, after plummeting 23 places down the ladder.

BY HENRY MHARA/ TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

In the latest rankings released yesterday, only Libya, who fell 24 places down, lost more ground than the Warriors.

Zimbabwe crashed out of the ongoing Chan tournament in the group stages after losing to Zambia and Mali before their draw against Uganda and with those results, they slipped from 108 last month to 131 in global football ranking.

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In Africa, the Warriors are now ranked 41, below minnows such as Madagascar and Sierra Leone.

It’s Zimbabwe’s worst world placement since the ranking system was introduced by Fifa in 1993.

Previously, their worst ranking was 118 in 2010. Their best world ranking remains 46, achieved by the famed Dream Team in 1993.

This is not the kind of news the Warriors would want to hear ahead of a crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Swaziland at the end of next month.

Warriors coach, Kalisto Pasuwa is expected to announce the squad for the back-to-back Group L qualifiers against the Sihlangu Semnikati, as the Swazi national team are known.

Zimbabwe, who are joint group leaders with Swaziland with four points, travel to Mbabane on the weekend of March 23 to 26, before the return match in Harare a week later.

The Warriors will be hoping for wins in those matches, which would set them in a good position to qualify for the Afcon finals, while also helping to improve their rankings.

Meanwhile, Zifa will finally get the Tom Saintfiet debt off their backs after the association’s partner, Wicknell Chivayo revealed yesterday they would clear the debt owed to the Belgian by next week, which would help avoid sanctions from world football governing body, Fifa, which has threatened to throw Zimbabwe out of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, if they fail to settle it.

Chivayo said he would also hand over a brand new vehicle — a 2016 Toyota D4D 3-litre V8 engine double-cab — he promised Pasuwa on Monday.

He said he was waiting for Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa, who is out of the country on business, to deliver the vehicle to the Warriors gaffer.

“The issue of the debt to Tom Saintfiet will be cleared next week. It is not really a problem. Already, we have paid a total of $150 000 and we will pay the balance next week, which is $34 000,” Chivayo said.

“The problem is that the law doesn’t allow a transaction of huge amounts outside the country at once, so we are now going to pay the final instalment.”

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