Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Warriors in worst FIFA ranking

by Staff reporter
24 Dec 2021 at 07:23hrs | Views
THE FIFA report card for 2021 is out and Zimbabwe's Warriors have ended the year in the worst possible manner.

The Warriors finished the year anchored on number 121, according to the final football statistics released by the world football governing body yesterday.

This is the worst end of year rank­ing in Zimbabwe's history. The Warriors, who slumped to the same position last month, also remained rooted on 31st place in the continental rankings.

The stagnation was caused by lack of activity during the month of December. The team suffered heavy blows in the last few months.

They retreated three places down the ladder in the previous rankings follow­ing a predictable ending to their lifeless 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Warriors, who finished bottom of Group G, without a win, lost 0-1 to South Africa before they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium late last month.

They had started the year in position 108 under Zdravko Logarusic, who was later replaced by Norman Mapeza. But they experienced a difficult campaign during the year, in which they played a total of 15 games. They won one, lost 10 and drew four games.

Zimbabwe had a busy schedule on the international scene as they opened the year away in Cameroon where they took part in the CHAN tournament.

They lost all three matches against Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Mali. The Warriors' only win for the year came in March when they edged Botswana 1-0 in Gaborone to seal their place at the upcoming AFCON finals.

But they returned to their losing ways when going 2-0 at home to Zambia in the last AFCON qualifying game, which had been reduced to a dead rubber.

The Warriors then took part at the COSAFA tournament in South Africa, where they finished winless for the first time in the history of the tournament.

They drew with Mozambique and Malawi and then lost the final two games to Namibia and Senegal.

The Warriors then shifted their atten­tion to the 2022 FIFA World Qualifiers which resumed in September.

Logarusic was in charge of the first two games before he lost his job. Zimbabwe drew against South Africa and then slumped to a shock defeat to minnows Ethiopia. In all, Loga was involved in seven losses, three draws and one win.

Mapeza was in charge of four games and the Warriors lost three and drew one. As a result, Zimbabwe found themselves in the company of the likes of Kazakhstan (119), Azerbaijan (120), Guatemala (122) and Faroe Islands (123) when the final compilation was made in the global rankings.

Previously, the worst end of year position for Zimbabwe was number 119 at the height of the Asiagate scan­dal in 2010.

Zimbabwe have now clocked exactly 10 years of finishing outside the top 100 rankings. The last time they ended the year among the top 100 was in 2011 when they finished on number 98.

While the lowest monthly ebb remains the 131 ranking in June 2016, Zimbabwe football enjoyed good for­tunes on the FIFA charts between the 1990s and the mid-2000s. Their best ever monthly ranking was number 40, achieved in November 1995.

But the rankings have been on free­fall in recent years, largely due to malad­ministration. The next rankings will be released after the group games at the AFCON tournament in Cameroon next month. Zimbabwe are in Group B and will play Malawi, Senegal and Guinea.

Source - The Herald
More on: #Warriors, #Fifa, #Ranking