ZIMBABWE’S failure to qualify for the African Nations Cup finals that ended last weekend has cost them 13 places on the Fifa world rankings.
The Warriors have slumped to number 96 – their second worst ranking ever &#
8211; in the latest rankings released on Wednesday.
In Africa, Zimbabwe have dropped five places to position 23.
Zimbabwe achieved their worst world ranking ever last August when they were placed 101 following a disastrous campaign for a place at this year’s Nations Cup finals.
The latest drop is however largely due to Zimbabwe’s inactivity while the biennial continental tournament was taking place in Ghana.
The Warriors even failed to organise an international friendly last Wednesday – one of the days reserved for international friendly matches by Fifa.
The highest world ranking Zimbabwe have ever achieved was in April 1995 when they were number 40.
Ghana are now Africa’s top team at number 14 in the world after they marched to third place at the Nations Cup finals at the weekend.
Champions Egypt have jumped six places to position 29 in the world, although they are fourth in Africa behind losing finalists Cameroon and semifinalists Ivory Coast.
Of Zimbabwe’s opponents in the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers, only Guinea are ranked above the Warriors on number 47 in the world and eight in the continent.
Their other two opponents, Kenya and Namibia, are ranked 34 and 35 respectively which puts them way out of the world’s top 100.
A good performance in the preliminary qualifiers is likely to boost Zimbabwe’s world ranking.
The Warriors are scheduled to play their first qualifier away to Guinea on the weekend of May 30 to June 1.
On the weekend of June 6-8, Zimbabwe host Namibia in their second qualifier before they travel to Kenya the following weekend.
A week later, Zimbabwe will be at home to Kenya — making it four international matches on four consecutive weekends.
Zimbabwe are now coached by Brazilian Valinhos who is yet to sit on the Warriors bench. — ZimOnline.