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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Drop in FIFA rankings to persist if Kenya plays weak teams: coach

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A notable Kenyan football coach on Saturday said Kenya’s risks sinking further in FIFA rankings if football officials in the East African nation continue to secure friendly matches for the national team against lowly-ranked teams.

Amos Ingutia, who has coached some of Kenya’s illustrious players, said that Kenya’s drop from position 105 to 133 has been brought about by playing lowly-ranked teams in international friendlies.

“The national technical bench should decline such invitations even if they were all-expenses paid and instead seek to play against stronger opponents. Invitations against weaker sides should be extended to any of the national youth teams,” the tactician said.

Ingutia who was trained by Kenya’s most successful coach, Marshall Mulwa, has tutored players who went ahead to play for the national teams and leading clubs in the country.

The national men’s lost 28 points to drop eight places from position 105 the country occupied last month to position 113 with 289 points in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday.

This development was brought about after Harambee Stars performed dismally during friendlies staged in Morocco against the Central African Republic to which they lost 2-3 before drawing 2-2 against Comoros.

Neighboring Uganda remained the best-ranked team within the East and Central Africa region after they climbed four places from 78 to 74, as World Cup holders Germany maintained their position one spot.

“Football Kenya Federation officials ought to go back to the drawing board and plan afresh instead of doing the same thing the wrong way expecting different results. Last year the national team lost to Iraq and Thailand in international friendlies that saw a massive drop of 14 places in rankings from 102 to 116,” Ingutia told Xinhua.

When calculating a team’s points, FIFA takes into consideration match results, importance of match, strength of opposing team, and strength of federation (number of victories by the confederation at the last three World Cup competitions).

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EARLIER REPORT;

Uganda improve four places in latest FIFA ranking

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Uganda have improved their ranking by four places to 74th in the FIFA world rankings released in Zurich on Thursday.

The country’s move is attributed to the 3-1 win over Sao Tome and Principe and the goalless draw against Malawi in international matches played last month.

“We are happy with the improvement in the rankings. We shall always keep working hard to improve the team and the rankings,” Edgar Watson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda FA told Xinhua on Thursday.

Uganda remain top in the Council for East and Central African Football Associations region, Kenya are second in the region but dropped by eight places to 113th in the world rankings.

Rwanda are now 123rd, while Tanzania improved by nine places to the 137th position after their recent win over Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in an international friendly match.

Tunisia are the highest ranked nation in Africa in 14th place, while Senegal are second (28th) and DRC are in 38th place.

           

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