LUSAKA, June 10 - Free-Falling Zambia has for the first time in many months defied gravity to move up on the monthly FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings released yesterday by the world soccer governing body.
According to the latest rankings, Zambia, ranked 80th in the world last month, has moved to 77th.
In Africa, Zambia, whose upward movement has been attributed to the busy pre-2006 World Cup and African Cup qualifiers warm up friendlies, has stepped up a rung from 15 to 14.
Zambia trainer Kalusha Bwalya said yesterday his squad would try to be consistent in the World Cup and African Cup qualifiers, which would help the team to improve its world rating.
He said the team would need to work extra hard for it to make the top five in Africa where it was 10 years ago.
"We want to be consistent in our qualifiers," Kalusha said.
He said Zambia needed to prepare hard for all its matches to ensure its first qualification to the World Cup finals, Germany 2006.
Cameroun's 'Indomitable Lions' are the top African team on the rankings, enjoying position 12 in the world.
Nigeria are second on the continent and number 16 in the world while Zambia's opponents in the African and World Cup qualifiers Senegal have also maintained third place in Africa but have moved five steps up from 31 to 26 on the world.
Zambia's other opponents Mali are eighth on the continent and 46th on the World while Liberia are ranked 25th on the continent and 106 on the world rankings.
African countries that are ahead of Zambia are Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Congo DR, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
World champions Brazil are still on top of the FIFA rankings followed by France and Spain.
The other countries in the top-ten bracket are Mexico, Argentina, Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, USA and Italy.
England have dropped a step down as they are now number 13 from the joint 12 position with Cameroun last month.
Source: The Times of Zambia / allAfrica Global Media
Add your response to Readers’ Corner