Fifa: Bafana rise to 47th in world rankings

2011-02-03 00:00

BAFANA Bafana have broken into the top 50 in Fifa’s world football rankings for the first time in four-and-a-half years, coming in at 47th in the latest standings.

The last time Bafana were ranked in the top 50 was in January 2006.

From a lowest-ever ranking of 88th in March last year, South African have now climbed 41 places in 11 months.

Bafana are joined in nations ranked from 40 to 50 by some strong footballing countries — Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Austria, Guinea, Costa Rica, Tunisia and Colombia.

The national team have made similar strides on the continent, moving from 12th to eighth.

“We believe we are on the right track, and would like to say congratulations to the Bafana Bafana technical team, especially the coach [Pitso Mosimane] and also the players for the sterling work they have put in,” said Safa president Kirsten Nematandani. “Credit should also go to the whole country for their support towards their own national team.”

His sentiments were echoed by Mosimane, who was also elated at the news of South Africa’s rise in the rankings. “We are happy with the improved rankings. This is a good sign that we are making progress towards achieving our Vision 2014 goals,” said Mosimane.

“We are however mindful of the heavy load of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be. But this achievement serves as an inspiration to the technical team, the players and the association in general,” he added. “We made a pledge that we will work very hard in our quest to restore South Africa’s pride in continental and global football, and we are happy with the progress made so far.”

 

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