By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
ZAMBIA has dropped one more rung on the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola world rankings released yesterday, dropping to 77th on the globe but maintained 16th position in Africa.
The FIFA rankings released four days after the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, have seen the newly-crowned champions, Germany becoming the best-place team in the world for the first time in 20 years followed by runners-up Argentina and Holland in third place.
Zambia’s continued drop comes as no surprise as the Chipolopolo’s only activity in the last one month being a 4-3 loss to 2014 World Cup finalists, Japan.
Africa’s best performers at the World Cup, Algeria deservedly occupy the top continental slot though at world level they dropped two rungs to number 24.
Ivory Coast, who were knocked out at the group stage in Brazil, slipped to second on the continent and just like Algeria, the Elephants dropped two places on the world chart and just below the North Africans in position 25.
African champions Nigeria, who reached the last 16 at the World Cup, jumped into third position from fifth on the continental rankings and their exploits saw them rise 10 places on the global standing where they are now number 34.
Only Cameroon is the African country at the 2014 World Cup that stayed outside the top five on the continent.
The Indomitable Lions are perched eighth on the continent but despite losing all matches at the World Cup, have risen both in Africa and the world.
On the world rankings, Cameroon rose three places to 53 and two rungs on the continent with Egypt squeezing into the top five bracket on position four, one better than Ghana who came off with one point from the World Cup.
Meanwhile, FIFA.com reports that all of the teams that exited the World Cup in the quarter-finals have climbed up the ranking: Colombia (fourth, up four), Belgium (fifth, up six), France (10th, up seven) and Costa Rica (16th, up 12 – the Ticos’ highest-ever ranking).
Times of Zambia