Harambee Stars’ 3-0 drubbing of Ethiopia in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier early this month has seen Kenya move two places in the latest FIFA rankings released yesterday. Kenya is now placed 105th in the world and 24th in Africa.
Stars managed a draw in Bahir Dar four days prior to the Kasarani duel and collected four points from her northern neighbours over two legs, a precedence that guaranteed the slight positive movement in the ranking table.
Kenya’s improved ranking can be attributed to the advent of Frenchman Sebastian Migne’s arrival as Harambee Stars head coach. The team has posted positive results on the pitch since Migne’s arrival, replacing months of disappointments under past coaches.
Federation officials are upbeat over the team’s prospects and tip the country to perform even better and further scale the table to a more desirable position. Kenyan players cannot feature in certain leagues owing to the distant ranking by FIFA.
“We want to fix everything systematically so that we rise higher on the table, a phenomenon that will augur well for our players. It should not be a great hustle for these talented players to sign for teams playing in certain leagues.
You can recall the trouble it took Victor Wanyama to be admitted in England,” Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa said.
“There are targets we have set as a federation and getting into the top 60 on FIFA ranking is one of them.
But the most important thing is the system put in place to ensure that our movement on that ranking table is positive and sustainable. I know it is not easy and will take time but nothing comes easy and we are prepared to go all the way and do the hard part to see us through,” added Mwendwa.
The Frenchman masterminded a shock 1-0 victory over top ranked Ghana at Kasarani last month to revive Kenya’s hopes of Afcon qualification then settled for a scoreless draw with Malawi at the same venue.
Uganda is the highest ranked east African country, maintaining position 17 continentally and moving to 79 overall while Tanzania languish in 36th in Africa while moving four steps overall to 136 globally.
Benin, Mauritania, Niger, Madagascar and even CAR are above Kenya in the rankings which accounted for up to last month’s international engagements.
World Cup winners France dropped one place to second as Belgium moved up to claim top spot.
England and Uruguay were the only other movers in the top 10, Gareth Southgate’s men moving up one place to fifth and Uruguay moving the other way, to sixth.