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Malawi’s clubs sidelined from world rankings

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TNM Super League clubs are, once again, conspicuously missing from the World

Club Ranking (WCR), a development which Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has attributed to local teams’ limited exposure to international competitions.

Authoritative International Federation of Football History and Statistics (Iffhs) has released, on its website, the latest WCR based on results of games which clubs across the world played from January 1 to December 31 2017.

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Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba-Banda, and Mike Butao, General Secretary of Be Forward Wanderers, described the latest rankings as a true reflection of domestic football.

Somba-Banda said: “We cannot fault the system or criteria used. What we need to do is sit back and reflect on our shortfalls as a country, and start working on steps to close the identified gaps.

“For instance, we hardly participate in international club competitions. This is the number one factor that contributes to the rankings; hence, our performance is almost impossible to rank or compare with other countries.”

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Going forward, Somba Banda said Sulom has proposed establishment of a fund to enable local clubs to participate in Confederation of African Football (Caf) competitions regularly.

“We are proposing a five percent cut from the league games’ gate collections, which will be deposited into a one-year fixed deposit account and the league winners will draw this money for their participation in Caf [Champions League]. For instance, 2017’s five percent of gate revenues were K22 million. That means Be Forward Wanderers could have used this as a starter-pack for the preparations. In that way, we believe [that] in the next five years, we should see a Malawian team faring well in Caf and eventually on the rankings,” he said.

Wanderers exited the 2018 Caf Champions League after losing 6-1 on aggregate to AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo whereas Masters Security FC also bowed out 5-0 on aggregate, following losses to Atletico Petroleos de Luanda of Angola. Vita and Petroleos are ranked.

Butao shared Sulom’s remarks that Super League teams need to play more international games if they are to earn recognition.

“All teams in Malawi are not ranked and when we only play against each other (non-ranked teams), how do we expect to get a ranking? We need to play against the ranked teams and get results against them to get into and move up the ranking order.

“This lack of international exposure for clubs also affects the standards of football in the national team. This should be food for thought for both the government and the football authorities. It shouldn’t be left to the clubs alone,” he said.

Real Madrid top the world table, with Alianza FC of El Savador the least ranked club on position 386.

Al Ahly of Egypt are Africa’s number one ranked team and 79th in the world. Ranked 163, South Africa’s giants, Mamelodi Sundowns, are number one in Southern Africa. Iffhs, which supplies football data to world football governing body, Fifa, has explained the criteria it uses to rank the teams.

“This ranking is intended to establish among all domestic and continental competitions the strongest team of the year in the world. It is set by the sum  of all weighted points in each competition from January to December. This ranking does not give bonuses for exceeding a round or winning a competition. Each competition has its own value, according to the Iffhs rules, fixed by the Iffhs Executive Committee,” reads www.iffhs.de

Randomly, clubs in neighbouring countries are also ranked. For example, Zanaco from

Zambia are ranked 235 in the world, at par with Vita. Premiero de Agosto and Libolo of Angola are ranked at par on positions 311, just like Kampala City FC of Uganda whereas

Mbabane Swallows from Swaziland re placed on 362.

On positon 360 are Caps United of Zimbabwe, whereas Petroleos are positioned 386. Platinum Stars from South Africa are on position 294.

Mozambique’s best club are Ferroviaro de Beira who are ranked 309.

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