…as Copper Queens move eight steps up
By MICHAEL MIYOBA
FIFA has officially published its latest quarterly rankings with Zambia moving two steps up on the continental radar to occupy 16th position in Africa and 82nd on the global rankings.
The latest development comes after the Avram Grant-led charges recorded a 1-1 draw against Comoros during the last international break to qualify for the Africa Cup of nations as Group H winners.
Zambia had started the year ranked 86th in the world before moving two steps up during the June 2023 edition of the rankings to occupy 84th position in the world.
Meanwhile, the Copper Queens, who were ranked 77th in the world have moved eight places up on the global rankings to occupy 66th position.
The Copper Queens have moved to seventh position on the continental rankings behind Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Morocco, Ghana and Ivory Coast who are in the top six.
In the men’s category, Zambia’s rivals in the World Cup qualifiers kicking off in November and Africa’s number one ranked side Morocco have moved two places up to position 13 on the global rankings.
Morocco is the leading African nation in the rankings while reigning African champions Senegal dropped two places from 18 but remain amongst the top 20 in the world as they occupy position 20.
Tunisia is now amongst the top 30 in the world after moving up to position 29, while Mali and Ivory Coast both move two places up to 49 and 50 to break into the top 50 ranked sides, replacing Greece and Paraguay respectively.
As a result, CAF now has nine teams in the top 50, which is two more compared to the previous rankings.
Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau made the biggest improvement in the rankings, moving up six places to 106.
World champions Argentina strengthened their grip at the top of the FIFA world rankings with the top five remaining unchanged after the international break.
Argentina, who dethroned Brazil at the summit in April, remained top after beating Ecuador and Bolivia in their 2026 World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.
Second-placed France, who lost to Germany in a friendly last week, retained second place followed by Brazil (third), England (fourth) and Belgium (fifth).