Warriors end miserable year outside top 100 in FIFA world rankings

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The Warriors pose for a team photo before their 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana at the Cape Coast Stadium in October Pic: Cafonline

The Warriors remained in 121st position in the latest and final FIFA world rankings for 2021, released by the world football governing body on Thursday.

Zimbabwe dropped three spots to their current position in last month’s world rankings released following their disastrous 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.

And after a quiet period in the month under review, they remained unmoved in the latest global standings which means they will yet again end the year outside the top 100 of the FIFA world rankings.

This is their lowest position in five years since reaching their lowest ever ranking of 131 in the world in June 2016.

Zimbabwe’s senior national men’s football team has also lost ground on the African rankings where they are now ranked a lowly 31st.

The Warriors endured a World Cup qualifying campaign from hell after finishing the group stage qualifiers without a win after collecting a single point from six matches to finish bottom of the group which included eventual group winners Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia.

Zimbabwe’s hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon suffered a blow in the recent November international window after losing 1-0 to South Africa and drawing 1-1 against Ethiopia.

The results saw them finishing at the bottom of Group G with just one goal from six matches.

The national team started the 2021 football calendar on number 108 but slumped 13 spots, despite qualifying for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be played in Cameroon.

With the exception of their qualification for the rescheduled continental tournament, the Warriors endured their worst run of poor results mostly under the tutelage of the controversial Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic.

The 55-year-old coach presided over the Warriors worst run, in history winning only one game, in 14 outings in the competitions such as the African Nations Championships (CHAN), Afcon qualifiers, the Cosafa Cup and the World Cup qualifiers.

Despite helping the Warriors over the line, in the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, Logarusic contributed only four points, from a possible 12, with the other four points coming from the opening two matches, when Joey Antipas was in charge.

Logarusic was sacked after collecting a single point from the first two matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers while his predecessor Norman Mapeza also did not fare any better managing to pick up a one point from a possible nine in the remaining four matches.

After a difficult year on the field of play, the Warriors also end the year with uncertainty surrounding participation in the upcoming Afcon finals amid a looming ban by Fifa after the Sports and Recreation Commission (Src) suspended the Zifa board last month.

 

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