Zambia has fallen seven places from 90th to 97th globally and from 22nd to 26th in Africa in the latest Fifa rankings published on Thursday, 6 April 2017, a situation which Football Association of Zambia (Faz) General Secretary Ponga Liwewe described as normal considering that the senior men’s national football team has not been active.
Liwewe told supersport.com that the rankings published by Fifa were a reflection of a team’s activities in a given period and could therefore not be tied to how good a team was.
“There is nothing to read in those rankings because they are dependent on how many games you play. So far since our last qualifier in November, the team has only played one game which was a draw.
“If you follow the Fifa rankings you will find that teams like Belgium are sometimes ranked the best in the world, which is just a reflection of their activity. Obviously will be more active as we start preparations for Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualification matches which are coming up.
“We expect to see a positive change in the rankings after the team has been active. So for now, we have to wait for the team to be involved in some matches, then we will see where we will end up," said Liwewe.
Since playing out a 1-1 draw in a Fifa World Cup qualifier with Cameroon in November, Zambia has only played a single friendly match which ended goalless against Zimbabwe on March 26.
All of Zambia’s opponents in upcoming qualification matches – Cameroon (33, 3), Nigeria (40, 5), Algeria (54, 11), Swaziland (88, 21), Namibia (94, 24), Guinea Bissau (94, 24) – are ranked higher with the exception of Mozambique who are ranked 106th globally and 28th in Africa.
In the Cosafa region, Zambia is the fourth highest ranked team behind South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia.