Tanzania plunges in FIFA rankings

Coach Marcio Maximo

Tanzania has plunged five steps deep into FIFA monthly revised global rankings to stay 99th from its previous position of 94.

The national team, Taifa Stars, that has so far played only eight competitive matches against foreign sides since January, is actually gazing at the triple digit figure it used to occupy before June this year.

Stars that have played eight matches in ten months and have been bundled out of 2010 African Nations and World Cup qualifiers are virtually idle with the Brazilian imported coach Marcio Maximo still in the payroll for the fourth year running.

Stars have lost three matches and drew as many while losing the rest with adamant Maximo busy fielding experimental line-ups throughout.

The precipitous fall in the rankings has been mainly attributed by idleness of Taifa Stars and implied success of other teams elsewhere in the world.

Stars played only three competitive matches during the newly introduced Champions of African Nations tournament (CHAN) in Abidjan in February through March.

The team won against the host nation Cote d’Ivoire by a lone goal, lost to Senegal by the same margin and drew with Zambia to crash out of contention of the inaugural tourney.

The rest of the five matches were friendly played at home with the exception of the only one against Rwanda where Stars posted a rare win in a foreign soil.

Maximo, who has been changing his line-ups with increased frequency since his arrival in September 2006, has been preferring to play home-based friendlies while downplaying foreign invitations.

The Brazilian coach’s performance leaves much to be desired while the soccer federation is almost tight-lipped to comment basing on the prevailing circumstance surrounding the nature of his employment.

Uganda is still leading as the best among the East and Central African countries despite dropping five steps up to 77th.

Kenya is at 104th position as Sudan are 113rd, just one position above Rwanda. Burundi is at 124th while the 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa have steeply fell 12 steps to 85th overall.

Cameroon has bounced back to lead the continent as it climbed 15 steps to stay 14th overall in global standings.

Cote d’Ivoire that used to rule the continent for long spells has moved only one step to 19th overall, the second best in the continent.

Other top ten teams in the continent with their global rankings in bracket are Egypt (28), Algeria (29), Nigeria (32), Ghana (38), Gabon (45), Mali (51), Tunisia (54) and Burkina Faso (55),

There is no significant change to the top four nations in the standings table with Brazil maintaining its status as the best side.

Spain, Netherlands and Italy trail the five times World Cup title winners with Germany in fifth lace after dropping one step down the ladder.

From sixth to the tenth are Argentina, England, Croatia, France and Portugal closes the line-up.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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