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Flames two steps down on Fifa rankings

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INSISTS HE WILL FINISH HIS TERM—Nyamilandu

It never rains but pours for Malawi football as indicators continue to point in the opposite direction, with the Flames slipping by two steps on the Fifa rankings released on Thursday.

The country’s football landscape is currently in turmoil and demonstrations against Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu and Flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) are slowly gathering momentum in all the three regions of the country.

The news about Malawi’s fall on the rankings has come at a time when Nyamilandu is desperately clinging to his position, saying he does not play football to be penalised for the Flames’ pathetic showing.

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Malawi are 125th in the newly-released rankings, a two-step slip from the last rankings where the team was on position 123.

The drop is not surprising as the Flames are coming from back-to-back losses early this month, the first a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Morocco in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Casablanca and a 1-0 defeat to Kenya in Nairobi enroute from the North African country.

RVG did not answer when called to comment on the development while Fam Technical Director, John Kaputa, declined to speak.

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But football analyst Stewart Mbolembole described the results as not surprising since Malawi does not have a team worth competing on the international stage.

“We are still building a team.

We do not have the complete product yet. It could take us two to three years to start reaping the fruits of our rebuilding. We should just learn to live with our situation because nothing will change in the immediate term,” Mbolembole said.

For the first time in the 25-year history of the rankings, Belgium and World Cup winners, France, are sharing the top spot with 1,729 points ahead of third-placed Brazil who have 1,663 points.

The only change in the top 10 sees Denmark slip down one place to 10th below Spain.

The biggest movers are Ukraine, who climbed by six places to 29th. Kenya have the biggest jump in terms of points, moving up by 22 places.

Tunisia (23) are Africa’s top team followed by Senegal (25), Democratic Republic of Congo (40), Morocco (45) and Nigeria (48).

South Africa are southern Africa’s best with a world ranking of 73 followed by Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Namibia. The Flames are seventh in the region.

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