Zimbabwe is currently ranked 32nd in the FIFA rankings of the 52 African nations, and the standard in the country is miles off from the giants of the African game like Senegal and Morocco at the top. There’s no doubt that Zimbabwe has managed to produce some talented players over the years, but the country has failed to progress to the upper echelons of international football in the continent. There are various ways that Zimbabwe could seek to improve their chances.How Does Zimbabwe Stack up Against Other African Nations?
When it comes to comparing Zimbabwe to other African nations, there are several countries that the southern nation could aspire to replicate. Egypt, for example, has a strong footballing culture and has won the African Cup of Nations a record seven times. Senegal is another nation that has performed well in recent years, reaching the final of the African Cup of Nations in 2019. Both of these countries have invested heavily in their youth development programs and have built strong domestic leagues. This has helped them produce talented players who can perform at the highest level.
Uganda is a good model for Zimbabwe to look at as well. The country has a relatively small footballing infrastructure compared to some of its African neighbours, but it has been making progress in recent years. The national team has improved in the FIFA rankings and is now up to 17th. This has been helped by the growing support for the sport which has been aided by related sectors such as betting.
Mobile betting and the rise of the internet have made this more possible, and now major international brands are targeting bettors in the country. For instance, the bet365 Uganda registration gives people in the country a chance to join one of the world’s oldest betting sites. There’s a special offer when they open their new account as well, encouraging more people to sign up.Grassroots Football is Key
One of the key factors that can help Zimbabwe climb the FIFA rankings is an investment in grassroots football. By investing in youth development programs and setting up more football academies, Zimbabwe can identify and nurture talented young players who can go on to represent the national team at a higher level. This approach has worked well for other African countries such as Ghana, which has had success in recent years by investing heavily in its youth programs. According to Citi Sports, the Talent Identification Programme has been the wisest investment in years.
Another important factor is the quality of the domestic league. A strong and competitive league can help develop talented players and give them a better chance of getting the attention of top scouts. The Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League has a few good teams as listed by FootballDatabase. However, few would disagree that there’s a major need to improve the infrastructure and the standard of coaching in the league. By attracting more investment and improving the overall quality of the league, Zimbabwe can help to raise the profile of its players. This would, in turn, increase the chances of the national team performing well on the international stage.
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The Warriors have a lot of potential to improve in the FIFA rankings, but it will require a combination of factors to fall into place. Investment in grassroots football and the domestic league will be key because this will provide a better opportunity to identify and nurture talented young players. By following the example of other successful African nations, such as Egypt and Senegal, Zimbabwe can build a strong footballing tradition that will help it to compete at the highest level.