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MBABANE – The national team, Sihlangu Semnikati, have maintained their worst rank for the year on the FIFA charts.

The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) released the latest standings yesterday. Before the release of the charts, the Dominic Kunene-led Eswatini national team recently participated in the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Cup in Durban, South Africa, where it played three games. Sihlangu lost 1-0 to Botswana and won 2-1 against Namibia. However, the 2-1 loss against South Africa (SA) shattered the team’s dream of winning the cup.

Despite Sihlangu’s performance in the 2023 cup, its FIFA ranking remains unmoved. The COSAFA Cup is considered a friendly competition for the purposes of the FIFA rankings. In the previous rankings in June, this year, the national team was ranked on 146 and it still remains in the same position this month. The best rank for the year was 144 in the first four months of 2023. The current ranking puts the country on the 43rd position out of 54 countries of the African continent and eighth in the COSAFA region. The likes of Lesotho and Botswana which recently played against Sihlangu in the COSAFA Cup are behind Eswatini in the rankings.

Meanwhile, the best ranking in history for Sihlangu was position 88 back in 2017. A better ranking helps in terms of seeding during draws of major competitions. Best ranked teams usually find themselves not playing tournaments preliminary rounds. Reigning World Cup champions Argentina are still first on the rankings, followed by France then Brazil. Meanwhile, Morocco who made history to become Africa’s first-ever World Cup semi-finalists occupy the first spot in Africa and have dropped once again to 14th globally after the June rankings drop to 13th.