Saturday Jul 02, 2022. 12:00
The 14 competing nations at the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA CUP 2022 will all have an eye on the silverware when the competition is played in Durban from July 5-17.
But they are also at various stages of their development as a team and will be looking to not only put in a good showing, but also improve their positions on the FIFA World Rankings. Here is where they currently stand.
195 – SEYCHELLES
Seychelles are back under 200 in the rankings, but still some way off their best ever showing of 130 in 2006. They can make great strides this tournament if they can get some wins under their belt.
179 – MAURITIUS
A lack of match action in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt Mauritius’ ranking, but this is a chance for them to boost their points total.
149 – BOTSWANA
The Zebras have slipped in recent times having been in the top 100 as recently as 2015 and ranked at number 53 in the world in 2010! They will be desperate to reach those heights again.
146 – LESOTHO
Lesotho have stayed pretty constant on this ranking since records began, with their average of the years being number 145. They did rise as high as 105 in 2014 but it proved a brief moment of joy as they slipped back down again.
144 – ESWATINI
Eswatini are slightly above their average ranking of 141, but well off their top number that was 88 in May 2017, which shows what a difficult few years they have had.
126 – COMOROS
Comoros are currently at their best ever ranking after their excellent display at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, and recent wins over Ethiopia and Lesotho. It is an illustration of the rapid rise of the side in the last few years. They were at number 172 in the world in 2015.
122 – ANGOLA
Angola have shown some improvement since they dropped to their worst ranking of 141 in 2017 but are still way off their average since the rankings began of 87. And they are almost 100 places down from their best position of 45 in 2000.
121 – MALAWI
The Flames are also rebuilding their ranking after being as high as 103 in 2016, but then dropping to 130 two years later. Their best position was 53 all the way back in 1992.
118 – MOZAMBIQUE
The Mambas have been hovering somewhere between 100-120 in the last few years and will be looking for a repeat of their form between 2006-07 when they jumped a full 50 places to 75 over the period of 12 months. Their best position is 66, which they attained in 1997.
117 – NAMIBIA
Namibia were once at number 69 in the world in 1997 but despite dipping into the top 100 briefly in 2016, having been in and around their current position since then. They dropped as low as 167 in 2006.
105 – MADAGASCAR
The Malagasy dropped under 100 in 2019 and 2020 but are back over that mark and will be hoping to get back to that position in the coming months, starting with the COSAFA Cup. Their best placing was 74 in 1992.
88 – ZAMBIA
Zambia were at number 34 in the world following their triumph at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, but it has been a steady slide since then. They have never been below 102 while their best ever position was 15 in 1996. No Southern African side has been higher than that.
68 – SOUTH AFRICA
Bafana Bafana have been as low as 52 in the last decade but have mostly sat in the 70s, progressing slightly since the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Their best position was 16 after they won the Cup of Nations in 1996.
18 – SENEGAL
The African champions are currently ranked at number 18 in the world, which is also their highest ever position. They will be bringing a home-based squad to the COSAFA Cup but will still be a potent force as they look to build on their silver medal last year.