|Scorpions of Gambia|
Gambia has found itself fixed at one place in the latest world and regional rankings, following the national soccer team’s disastrous performance in their last competitive match.
Gambia remains stuck at 113th place in the world and 30th place in Africa according to the latest FIFA ranking. The same positions held by the country in last month’s football rating.
The May 9, 2012 ratings saw Gambia maintaining the same score, 292 points, based on the poor or inactivity of the national team, the Scorpions, is enough to get the whole country stuck in global and continental football.
The scorpions’ last kick of a ball was on February 29, 2012 when Algeria took advantage of their dismal performance to punish them with a 2-1 win in their first leg preliminary round of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
The defeat in front of nearly 30,000 home fans left football authorities in the country mad, and with uncertainty, the executive committee of the Gambia Football Association, GFA, led by Seedy Kinteh, were all sent packing by the Government.
With football’s world governing body, FIFA, threatening sanctions, the Government managed to negotiate their actions and possibly saved the country from being banned and the loss of an annual FIFA-subvention of USD$250, 000.
Meanwhile FIFA has announced that the next release of its world ranking will come on June 6, in which there is no hope that Gambia will move up better places provided that the inaction of the national team persist.
The June ranking will come days before the Desert Foxes host the Scorpions in Algiers, Algeria for the return leg of AFCON 2012 preliminary rounds. The team faces an uphill task that demands an overturn of the results in the 1st leg in Banjul, if the country is to move a step further in its drive to make a debut in the continental championship.
However, before the Algeria game, the Gambia has an opening 2014 world cup qualifying game sandwich in between.
Wednesday’s rankings placed Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil, England, Croatia, Argentina and Denmark as the top 10 countries in world football. Meanwhile, the reigning world champions, Spain, with 1,442 points, have retained their place as the top team in the world followed by Germany in second place.
While at the continental level, Africa’s top 10 teams are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Mali, Zambia, Gabon, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. Africa’s top side is Ivory Coast with 951 points, with the Elephants ranked 15th in the world.
Mauritania is the worst ranked side in Africa at 53rd with only four points.
Written by Modou S. Joof
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