Flames fall five places to 99

The raging flames are slowly flickering and my just be burning charcoal soon. From 87 in November to 94 in December, and now the Malawi national football team (Flames) at position 99 have plunged five places on this year’s first Fifa rankings released on Wednesday.

Unless the Flames keep active this month, which seems unlikely, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) which starts on Saturday in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, could spell doom for Malawi.

“There will undoubtedly be more movement on February’s ranking as the 32 matches taking place at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will be taken into account,” states www.fifa.com.

The Flames, who will watch the 2012 Afcon on television, have also climbed down on the continental chart from 19 to 23.

FAM secretary general Suzgo Nyirendaon Wednesday only talked about how his association hopes to ensure that, at least, Malawi plays between now and February.

“It is unfortunate that we have been inactive since our appearance at the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania. The next match is against Chad on February 29 and we will try that the team should be active,” he said.

On 56th in the world and eighth in Africa, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana are Cosafa region’s number one team followed by Zambia who are 16th on the continent and 71st in the world. Angola are 3rd in Cosafa, 19th in Africa and 85th in the world whereas Botswana, who are fourth in the region are 21st in Africa and 94th on the world scale. Flames are fifth in the region.

Mauritania is the least ranked team whereas Cote d’Ivoire are number one in Africa and 18th in the world. At 26th in the world, Ghana are second in Africa.

Up the global scale reigning World Cup champions Spain are still the dominant football forces followed by Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay, England, Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina.

The latest chart represents results of 11 matches taken into account, including six that were played in 2011.

Adds the website: “This month’s other successful sides are Uzbekistan (67th, up 8), Zambia (71st, up 8), Saudi Arabia (87th, up 9), Congo DR (116th, up 9) and Nicaragua (145th, up 9), who have all benefited from the devaluation of poor results in previous years to make significant progress up the table.

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