Downward spiral

January 14, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, January 14 – Kenya has recorded a sharp drop in the latest Fifa/Coca-Cola Rankings released on Wednesday.

Kenya plummeted down 16 places which was the highest dip in the rankings as well as posting the biggest points’ loss of 71 points.

This drop has undone all the good work done in 2008 where Kenya rose to an all time high position of 68th in December.

The slide has been occasioned by inactivity in the month of December where Kenya did not play a single match. Kenya’s single arranged friendly against Yemen was called off at the last minute.

Stars have been more active in January reaching the final of the East and Central; Senior Challenge tournaments in Uganda where they lost 1-0 to Uganda in the final on Tuesday.

Before hand they had drawn twice with Sudan and Zambia before walloping Djibouti 5-1. Stars then edged out Burundi 1-0 before beating Tanzania 2-1 in the semifinals.

Stars’ next assignment will be the final round of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers which start in March. Kenya are in the same pool with Tunisia, Mozambique and Nigeria.

They open their campaign against Tunisia on March 28 in Nairobi. After the match up against the North African giants, the national team will then travel to Nigeria for a date with the Super Eagles on June 6.

Stars third match against Mozambique on June 20th will be the most crucial one in their bid to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.

In other highlights in the Fifa Rankings, Somalia has moved up 22 places to position 178, while Gambia are up 13 places to 75.
Cameroon is the highest ranked African country in 14th place with reigning African champions Egypt one place below in 15th place. Nigeria is next in 17th position while Ghana are 25th. Ivory Coast round up the top five African nations in 27th.

Spain retain a comfortable lead over nearest rivals Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Brazil. Argentina, Croatia, England, Russia and Turkey complete the top ten.

Costa Rica (47th, up 6) are the only team currently in the top 50 to have risen more than five places, thus earning a place among the world’s 50 best teams for the first time since July 2007.


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