Malawi National Football Team has moved eight places up the Fifa rankings after back-to-back victories in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Flames, who claimed 1-0 victories over South Sudan and Uganda as the qualifiers drew to a close about two weeks ago, are now on position 115 from 123 after amassing 1,162 points.
This means Malawi are the fourth biggest movers on the global football rankings.
Guinea Bissau are the biggest movers after climbing by 11 places to position 108, followed by Namibia, who moved 10 places up to 111th. Armenia are the third best movers after making it by nine places up to position 90.
Flames coach Meck Mwase described the development as a true reflection of the Flames’ performance.
“Congratulations to the boys for working hard and delivering on the pitch. They really deserved the qualification. The movement up the rankings means a lot to us. We will keep doing our best so that we continue moving up on the rankings,” Mwase said.
While the rise can indeed be attributed to the two recent victories in Khartoum and Blantyre, the 4-0 loss to Ethiopia in a friendly ahead of the South Sudan encounter might have reduced the Flames’ chances of rising further on the rankings.
Sports analyst Kelvin Moyo advised Malawi to guard against complacency.
“We should continue fighting so that we break into the top 100. It would even be better if we made it into the top 70. This will make it easier for our players to clinch deals with top teams in the world’s best leagues,” Moyo said.
The Flames are on position 29 in Africa whereas Senegal are the top ranked team followed by Tunisia and Nigeria.
Belgium remain the number one team in the world followed by France and Brazil.
Malawi will be making a third appearance at the Afcon finals after finishing second in Group B of the qualifiers with 10 points, two behind group winners Burkina Faso.
Malawi are in Group D of the World Cup qualifiers and will begin their campaign away against giants Cameroon between June 5 and 8 before embarking on back-to-back home assignments against Mozambique and Ivory Coast between June 11 and 14 and September 1 and 4, respectively.
The Flames will then face Ivory Coast away between September 5 and 8 before hosting Cameroon between October 6 and 9.
Malawi will wrap up the qualifiers with an away fixture against Mozambique between October 10 and 12.