Malawi National Women’s Football Team, the Scorchers, have slumped by 19 places on the Fifa Women’s World rankings released on Friday.
According to www.fifa.com, Scorchers have fallen to position 149 from 130.
Scorchers coach McNelbert Kazuwa admitted that the senior women’s side had paid dearly for being idle for close to six months, having last competed in Cosafa Women’s Championship in South Africa last year.
“We have fallen by many steps. It is painful because it is happening at a time we are making huge strides in the game. Four months ago, we moved 15 places up the table. Anyway, we need to wake up and do something to halt this fall,” he said.
Reacting, National Women Football Association Chairperson Suzgo Ngwira blamed the Scorchers’ fall to idleness due to Covid restrictions.
“Let us be realistic, our friends, despite, Covid pandemic, were still active. This is a wake-up call. We need to arrange some friendlies to get a better rating and improve our rank,” she said.
Ngwira said they were planning to compete in Cosafa Women’s Championship this year to continue building the team.
During last year’s Cosafa Championship, the Scorchers reached the group stages for the first time in nine years.
On their way to the semifinals, the Scorchers started with a 9-1 victory over Lesotho before a hard fought 1-0 victory over neighbours Zambia courtesy of Temwa Chawinga’s goal.
In the semifinals, the side lost 6-2 to eventual winners South Africa.
Following the latest rankings, the Scorchers are on position 24 in Africa.
USA are ranked first followed by Germany on second and Netherlands on third.