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Flames static on Fifa rankings

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Gomezgani Zakazaka

Malawi national football team has maintained position 123 on the latest Fifa rankings released Thursday.

The rankings were based on friendly matches played during the October Fifa calendar.

The Flames played two friendlies, losing 1-0 to Zambia in Lusaka before earning a goalless draw against Zimbabwe’s Warriors at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.

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Malawi Coach Meck Mwase declined to comment on the matter, saying Football Association of Malawi Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka needed to grant him authority to do so.

“I am not in a position to talk to you. I can only do so if you get clearance from the Communications Director,” Mwase said in a brief interview.

Zakazaka said Technical Director, John Kaputa, was better placed to comment on the matter.

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However, Kaputa did not pick calls on his two numbers.

Local football analyst, George Chiusiwa, said it was a blessing in disguise that the Flames had maintained position 123.

“It was not practical to expect the Flames to move up the rankings because there were no football activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chiusiwa said.

Senegal also retained top position among African teams despite dropping one place to 21 on world rankings whereas Tunisia are the second-ranked in Africa.

Algeria are third in Africa but 30th in the world whereas Nigeria lie fourth in the continent and 31st in the world.

Belgium are still the world’s best team followed by France, Brazil, England and Portugal.

Malawi will play back-to back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Burkina Faso next month.

The Flames are third in Group B of the qualifiers with three points whereas Uganda and Burkina Faso are joint leaders with four points each.

Mwase featured all his foreign-based players during the two friendlies except Limbikani Mzava and Francisco Madinga Junior.

Against Zimbabwe, the Flames wasted two great chances through Chimwemwe Idana and Gabadinho Mhango.

Malawi are expected to regroup this weekend for the Afcon qualifiers.

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