LACK of competitive international matches has caused Tanzania to remain stagnant at the 17th position in the International Federation of Netball Association (IFNA) world rankings released on Monday.
The latest update has put into consideration matches up to January 26, this year, in which the national netball team, Taifa Queens has not been active. Acting Secretary General of the Tanzania Netball Association, CHANETA, Rose Mkisi said the Taifa Queens needs a number of matches to improve its ranking.
"We are always making efforts to get into international competitions as well as attracting several international friendlies but we need more support in this endeavour but is always not a smooth sailing," she said.
She said financial incapacity was making it difficult to ensure that the local ladies take part in different competitions or even attract credible friendly matches that could count positively in the rankings. She said the 17th position was attained after the Taifa Queens participation in the six-nation tournament in Singapore in December last year, where they won the title.
"Malawi and South Africa are all over in the world playing matches to stay top in the rankings because they know that attaining the top ten positions gives them automatic qualifications into the Commonwealth Games," said Mkisi.
She said if the government wants to see the Taifa Queens qualify for the Commonwealth Games, they should support it to play the ranking matches, adding that they have the best players to attain that mission.
During the December rankings, Tanzania moved up by two positions. The standing was courtesy of Taifa Queens impressive performance especially after the team's recent victory in the six nation's tournament in Singapore in December.
Tanzania is above other prominent countries like Ireland (29), Singapore (19), Malaysia (24), Switzerland (33), Namibia (26), Zambia (23), Sri Lanka (22) and USA (18). According to the rankings, Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi, South Africa, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Wales are the top ten respectively. Members of IFNA in Africa include Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.