Malawi move 8 steps up FIifa world rankings after  impressive AFCON qualifying campaign

Having won two consecutive matches against South Sudan away and Uganda at home to qualify for their third Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, the Flames have climbed 8 steps up the FIFA world rankings.

Flames up on world ranking

The Flames are 115th in the world and 27th in Africa, as according to the rankings released on Wednesday.

Top of the ladder in Africa are Senegal (22 in the world); Tunisia (26); Nigeria (32); Algeria (33); Morocco (34) and Egypt (46) in the top five respectively.

Ghana are 6th in Africa (49) followed by Cameroon (55); Mali (57); Côte d’Ivoire (59) and Burkina Faso (60) making the top 10 respectively.

The Flames are 6th in the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) — led by South Africa (75 in the world), followed by Zambia (87); Madagascar (100); Zimbabwe (107) and Namibia (111) in the top 5.

Malawi neighbours, Mozambique — whom they are together with in the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifiers — are 7th in the and fellow COSAFA and 117 in the world.

The other two opponents in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Côte d’Ivoire are 9th in Africa (59 in the world) and Cameroun on Cameroon (55).

The Flames are likely to rise high up if they perform extremely well in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers — whose matches start away to Cameroun between June 5-8, 2021 before hosting Mozambique on match day 2 between June 11-14.

Then they will be up against Côte d’Ivoire in back-to-back fixtures — starting at home between September 1-4 and away between September 5-8.

Their last home match will be against Cameroun between October 6-9 and wind up the campaign away in Mozambique between October 10-12.

The winners of the 10 groups will qualify for the next round where they will face off to identify the five teams that will qualify for the Qatar finals.

Meanwhile, as according to FIFA world rankings, Senegal, who were the first side to qualify for 2021 AFCON, maintained their status as the highest-ranked nation on the African continent but have dropped two places to 22nd in the world — four spots ahead of Tunisia.

Nigeria have climbed four places on their 32nd place overall — overtaken reigning African champions Algeria.

On position 46 in the world, Egypt — seven-time AFCON champions (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010) are three places ahead of Ghana, while AFCON hosts Cameroon have dropped five places to 55th and are now trailed closely by continental giants Mali and Côte d’Ivoire.

South Africa, who have failed to qualify for the AFCON, are ranked 15th on the continent and 75th overall — dropping five spots.

Belgium lead the world rankings ahead of reigning world champions France as the top six places remain unchanged — Brazil 3rd); England (4th); Portugal (5th); and Spain (6th).

Italy have climbed to 7th spot; Argentina are 8th; Uruguay (9th) and Denmark (10th).

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