Kenya's Harambee Stars poor showing in the two recent World Cup qualifiers against Namibia and Malawi has plunged the country 14 places deeper in the latest Fifa rankings. Kenya, who have been locked out of next year's African Cup of Nations after their last away defeat against Togo, are placed 125th after having improved by a single place in the previous rankings released by world governing body, FIFA.
The latest drop will be a food for thought for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), who recently ratified a new constitution. The poor ranking is hindering Kenya's top players including Victor Mugubi, Dennis Oliech and McDonald Mariga from, featuring in the prestigious English Premier League. For a player to feature in EPL, his country must be ranked among the top 70.
With no competitive fixture until March next year when the Stars play Nigeria in the World Cup qualifiers, there is no end in sight for Kenya's slump. FKF are currently engaged in looking for a suitable coach, who will take charge of the national soccer team in the near future after the then tactician Francis Kimanzi, who coincidentally led Kenya to their highest ever world ranking at position 68 in 2008, was sacked and re-deployed to the federation as technical director.
Kenya can only look on with envy as neighbors Uganda, who have been on the rising path in the last four years of coach Bobby Williamson tenure, continue to hog the limelight for the good reasons. The Cranes are the only team remaining from the region in the race to qualify for South Africa and they begin as the top team in the region at position 85, up from 94 with Sudan (105) and Ethiopia(119) completing the top three in the region.
Today, football delegates from across the continent will converge at Emperor's Palace for the Confederation of African Football's preliminary draw for AFCON 2013 in South Africa. SuperSport will broadcast the draw live on DStv across Sub-Saharan Africa. The draw is for the qualifying campaign that will see African nations reach the 29th edition of African football's showpiece in South Africa. Reigning African champions Zambia are 41st in the world and sixth in Africa with 16th ranked Ivory Coast the top team in Africa followed by Ghana (33) and first improving Algeria(35).
Meanwhile, Brazil slumped to 11th in the FIFA rankings, their lowest ever position, while tiny Tahiti surged 41 places after their astonishing win at the Oceania Nations Cup. Performances at Euro 2012 had an impact on places, with winners Spain staying top, semi-finalists Germany moving up a spot to second and runners-up Italy jumped from 12th to sixth. Moving in the opposite direction, Netherlands slumped from fourth to eighth after their first-round exit at Euro 2012.
Brazil dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since the rankings began in 1993 following defeats to Mexico and Argentina in friendlies in the last month. Under the complex system used to calculate the rankings, 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil have also suffered by having not played any competitive internationals since last year's Copa America when they went out in the quarter-finals. Uruguay remained the highest-ranked South American side at third followed by Argentina in seventh.