Malawi national football team coach Kinnah Phiri has blamed the lack of friendly matches for the Flames as a contributing factor to the team’s drop on the FIFA world rankings.
Malawi has dropped five places from 96 to 101 in the latest Coco Cola FIFA world rankings released by the world football mother body on Wednesday November 7 following their 1-0 defeat to Ghana in the African Cup of Nations qualifier at Civo stadium in October.
The Flames are ranked 101 in the world and 27 in Africa.
The Flames coach said his team does not play friendly matches on a regular basis and that affects their chances of rising on the global rankings.
“There is normally a big gap between international competitive matches. During that time, the Flames remain idle and do not utilise FIFA dates for international friendly’s. As a result, when we lose competitive games like we did in the two games against Ghana, we drop on the rankings,” he said.
Phiri said he remains hopeful that the team can rise again if they play well in the upcoming CECAFA tournament in Uganda this month.
“At the moment we have a new team. It is essential when you are building a new team to give it a lot of exposure and international experience. We are hoping that playing at the CECAFA will make up for the lack of friendly matches as well as put up a good show. Good results are what we are lacking at the moment but once we get that right, our ranking will improve,” said Phiri.
Ivory Coast is the top ranked African team on number 15 followed by Algeria, Mali, Ghana and Zambia on positions 19, 28, 29 and 39 respectively. African Cup of Nations hosts South Africa are on position 84 in the world and 21 on the continent.
The Flames have failed to win their last three competitive games drewing 1-1 with Nigeria in a world cup qualifier and lost both legs of the African cup of Nations qualifier against the Black Stars of Ghana 2-0 and 1-0.