By Gomezgani Zakazaka
The Malawi national football team, Flames coach Kinnah Phiri says he wants the Flames to be below 60 on the Fifa ranking by the end of this year.
Fifa is the world football governing body and regularly issues official rankings for national football teams in the world.
The Flames mentor said this ahead of Wednesday’s away international friendly match in Yemen.
He said the team has made a tremendous progress and there is need to safeguard the status and even improve it further.
Currently, Malawi is 82 on the Fifa rankings released last month after slipping one step.
The Yemen game will have a huge bearing on the rankings of this month and that is why we want a strong team and we’ll take it very seriously.
“A win against Yemen and then convincing results against Angola in the Chan competition will ensure that we get a good position in the next rankings to be released before the kickoff of the World Cup,” said Kinnah.
He said if the team managed to move 56 places up in two years, there are chances that it can rise even higher by December.
“Just two years ago, we were on position 138 and now we are 82. We are starting the qualifiers in September and there are more games coming up later in the year. If we win all of them, we should rise by many places. So that is my target to be in the 50s,” he said.
Flames midfielder Hellings Mwakasungula said Malawi’s improved standings will help the players in the coming transfer window to get better deals.
“We have failed to get good deals because of the rankings but if we keep on moving up then our players will be highly marketed,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malawi have announced that the Flames will depart for Middle East on Monday for the international friendly match against Yemen on Wednesday.
The Flames are expected to leave Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport and connect the for Yemen in Addis Ababa on the same Monday evening.
Fam says that the team is expected to arrive in Yemen just before midnight same Monday and the players will spend their time on Tuesday resting and feel on the weather in the country before their important international friendly with the hosts on Wednesday-Nation on Sunday.