By Sports Focus Reporter
The South African Senior Men’s National team (Bafana Bafana) has moved seven places up in the latest Coca Cola FIFA World rankings. Bafana Bafana is now placed in 39th (previously 46th) in the world and occupy 5th place on the continental rankings, moving from 9th position. The FIFA World Rankings were released on Wednesday 13 April 2011.
Ghana still leads the pack on the CAF rankings, followed by Ivory Coast, Egypt, Nigeria and Bafana Bafana. Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Libya complete the African top ten.
“It is exciting that the good we are doing is recognised by FIFA and the world through the rankings, it shows that as a county we are moving in the right direction. These latest news makes me and the whole team strive for more and dig deeper for an even higher place on the rankings. I would like to thank the PSL for giving us the time to make thorough preparations before matches; the media for being supportive and positive in their duties and that has resulted in fans coming back to matches; the coaches of teams for lending us players to execute our job; the players themselves and the entire Bafana Bafana team for all the work put in, it shows it was a collective effort; the Rainbow nation for being behind the team and wearing the country’s colours, this has given us the inspiration to surge ahead; and last but not least, I would like to thank SAFA as well as all the sponsors for all the support. Without any of these ingredients we would not have been standing here today, and this is an indication that together we can achieve more. It’s important to rejoice and bask in the glory of our success, but we should not lose sight of our mission to qualify for the 2012 and 2013 Afcon tournaments. Going forward concentration will be key as many battles are still coming,” said an elated Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane.
His sentiments were echoed by Safa President Kirsten Nematandani.
“Our quest to reclaim continental glory is on track, as the Association we will continue to fully support our national teams. Giving undivided backing to the Senior Men’s National Team has resulted in positive results on and off the field of play. On behalf of the National Executive Committee of SAFA I would like to congratulate head coach Pitso Mosimane for a job well done. These improved rankings should serve as an inspiration to achieve our set objectives. We need to continue working hard as an Association in order to attain our immediate goals of qualifying for next year’s Afcon, and the year after,” said Nematandani.
2010 World Cup finalists, Spain and Netherlands, still hold one and two positions, Brazil is third followed by Germany and Argentina in the top five. England, Uruguay, Portugal, Italy and Croatia make up the top ten. Italy has made the greatest strides, returning to the top ten after an absence of seven months. They are now 9th.
The next Coca Cola FIFA World Rankings will be released on Wednesday, 18 May 2011.