Zebras improve FIFA ranking
The Botswana senior football national team has continued its ascendency into the the top 100 ranked teams in the world. The Zebras are currently placed in the 98th spot in the latest FIFA World Rankings according to the latest instalment of the rankings.
Botswana has moved six places from the 104th place to take a place in the top 100 of the FIFA World rankings for the first time since 2011. A 53rd spot in 2010 remains the country’s highest ever world ranking. Zebras’ ascendency has also seen them rise to 26th place in the CAF category; they are the fourth highest ranked Southern African country behind Zambia, South Africa and Angola.
However, the country is likely to drop lower in the upcoming rankings due to its expected inactivity in the FIFA international friendly weeks. The BFA chief executive officer, Keith Masters, has indicated that the national team is likely to be inactive during the November 15-19 international week.
A potential drop in the FIFA rankings will surely be a worry for the side because they are likely to be given a tough draw in the preliminary round of the 2015 AFCON Qualifiers. Botswana is currently absent from the first three pots which consist of highly ranked African teams. Their absence from pots A, B and C means that they will be placed in pot D, which will be determined after the preliminary stages.
Information reaching this publication states that there will be a preliminary round composed of 10 teams facing each other over two legged matches. The five teams that prevail from the preliminaries will join the other seeded teams to form 12 groups made up of four teams.
Group winners from each of the 12 groups will qualify for the 2015 AFCON tournament held in Morocco while the best placed runners up will also qualify for the competition. Gazette Sport has learned that FIFA rankings will be used during the preliminary rounds and high placed teams will be placed against lower placed teams. The draw for the 2015 AFCON Qualifiers will take place in March next year.