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Flames 5 places down

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Clement Kafwafwa

Malawi National Football Team has dropped five places on the latest Fifa World ranking released Thursday following back-to-back defeats to Ivory Coast in the 2022 Fifa Qatar World Cup qualifiers early this month.

Fifa released the rankings after conclusion of the October international break.

The Flames are on position 120 in the world with 1,146.25 points and have fallen from last month’s position of 115.

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In the World Cup qualifiers, Malawi suffered a 3-0 loss to the Elephants at Orlando Stadium in South Africa before enduring a 2-1 defeat away in Cotonou, Benin.

Flames Team Manager Clement Kafwafwa described the development as a wakeup call.

“We saw it coming after the two defeats to Ivory Coast. We just need to work hard so that we climb again on the ranking. The upcoming matches in November can help us rise if we do well,” Kafwafwa said.

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The Flames’ highest position on the Fifa ranking was 53 in December 1992 whereas the lowest was 138 in 2008.

Football consultant Kelvin Moyo said he was not surprised.

“We should look around for friendlies during the Fifa calendar and hope that we win those matches to gain more points,” he said.

Malawi’s group opponents at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, Senegal, maintained top spot in Africa and 20th position in the world.

Tunisia are second in Africa and on position 27 in the world whereas Morocco moved to position three on the continent and position 29 in the world.

Algeria are fourth in Africa and 30th in the world.

The best team in the Cosafa region is South Africa, who climbed seven places to position 66 in the world after impressive performances in the World Cup qualifiers.

Belgium remain the number one team in the world whereas Brazil and France are second and third, respectively.

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