The New Times (Kigali)

20 January 2013

Rwanda: Micho Optimistic Despite Amavubi's Poor Ranking

AMAVUBI Stars head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojovic is full of hope Rwanda will bounce back from the continued poor FIFA rankings which has seen the country drop a further three places.

Rwanda started the year in 137th position from 134th in the latest Fifa ranking released on Thursday, the country's worst position in a decade.

Rwanda has not played any competitive international match since mid December when they lost 0-1 to Angola in Pre-Nations' Cup qualifier match after a quarterfinals elimination from the 2012 Cecafa Challenge Cup in Kampala.

In the Cecafa region, Rwanda comes six places behind leaders Uganda, who have continued with their upward motion and is now three places up to 81st.

Sudan moves up one place to occupy position 100, Burundi 104, Ethiopia 110, Malawi 114 and Tanzania is three places above Kenya at 124. In Africa, Rwanda is in the 40th position, also the worst in ten years.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Sport, coach Micho admitted that he is disappointed with the poor Fifa rankings but be noted, "What matters is not where we are but where we are heading."

"We are disappointed with the current rankings but we have a chance to improve in the next two months if play our scheduled international friendly matches in February and March before our World Cup qualifier against Mali,"

The Serb tactician, who has come under pressure in recent months, attributes the current poor standing on what he describes as, "unpleasant performance in 18 matches out of the 22 matches played away from home in the 12 months."

"We have also played against some highly ranked countries and once you are unable to win, it impacts on your standings on Fifa rankings," he acknowledged.

In 2001, the country ranked 144 and when it qualified for the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations, it moved up to 99. The best ranking ever was 78, in 2005.

"I realise we are not in a good position but I am very optimistic we are heading in the right direction. This is a busy year for us (Amavubi) and I believe we will much better than we have done in the last 12 months," added the former SC Villa and St George coach, who took over the reigns in October 2011, replacing Ghanaian Sellas Tetteh.

The latest drop can also be blamed on different factors ranging from poor performance in continental qualifiers, inability to play international friendly matches and the low standards of the national league, which provides poor quality of players to the national team.

Spain maintains the top spot as the best world soccer playing nation with a total of 1606 points, followed by Germany (1437), Argentina (1290), Italy (1165) and Colombia (1164) completing the top 5 nations.

Didier Drogba's Ivory Coast remains the best in Africa and at position 14 in the world. Algeria is at 22, Fredrick Kanoute's Mali at position 25. Brazil is at its all time lowest ranked 18th in the world.

Libya, Gabon and Central African Republic will all not be at the 2013 Nations Cup, but sit in positions six to eight, with Nigeria and Tunisia rounding out the top 10.

Record six-time African champions Egypt are the biggest droppers, falling 13 places in the world and to number 11 in Africa. Recent losses to Ghana and Ivory Coast did not help their cause.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 The New Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.