Since the global rankings were established in 1991, the Warriors’ best ranking has been 40, which was attained in April 1995 while Zimbabwe’s worst ranking came in October 2009, when it was ranked 131. In the last 12 months, Zimbabwe’s best ranking was 66, attained in September this year, while the worst ranking was 129 in April.
From a country that was once ranked 40 in April 1995, Zimbabwe still has one of its worst rankings. Did I hear somebody say if it was not because of the tainted games in Asia we would still be dancing with the world’s best? But then only two games of the tainted games in Asia (played in Jordan) have been included in the world ranking in the past years.
Sadly, the world ranking is a reminder of how our football standards have fallen and why most of our players are failing to make it in the big leagues of Europe. It is a sad reminder that there is nothing to celebrate when the bulk of our foreign-based players are playing in Cyprus — a country ranked 120 on the global ranking.
The world ranking is a reminder that we have made some strides since Norman Mapeza was appointed coach in March 2011.
The Warriors were ranked 129 in April before moving to position 126 in May before moving to position 87 the following month. The team moved one place up the ladder to position 86 in July this year after beating Mali 2-1 on June 5 at Rufaro.
The Warriors moved to position 74 in August.
In September, the Warriors moved to position 66 after beating Liberia 3-0 at the National Sports Stadium and now Zimbabwe is back to their old position in August — 74, after that painful defeat to Cape Verde.
Some of coaches have over the years argued that the world ranking system cannot be used as a barometer to measure the competitiveness of national teams.
Charles Mhlauri, then at the helm of the Warriors, once said that he did not believe in the Fifa world ranking and his argument was that it did not measure accurately the strength of the teams. But what can we use to then measure the competitiveness of national teams?
Is it qualifying for the Nations Cup and the World Cup and if this is the case, then the Warriors have been one of the worst countries over the years. Is it measured by the high number of the players in the top leagues in Europe? Then the Warriors also fall by the wayside as most of players are in minor leagues in Europe.
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