Bafana slip in rankings

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It is a drop of seven places for the national side which now leaves them placed as the 19th best side on the African continent.

Just last week Safa CEO Robin Peterson said the country’s target for the next 10 years was to "be in the top three in Africa and the top 20 in the world".

But that looks a long way off for coach Gordon Igesund now, who will have to steadily build his side’s ranking points.

The good news for him is that he will get plenty of opportunity to do so over the next six months, with Bafana having a packed programme of pre-Africa Cup of Nations matches, the tournament itself and then 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in March.

While many people believe the Fifa Rankings are not worth the paper they are printed on, the reality is that they are important.

They are used to determine seedings for major championships and also play a role in the issuing of work permits in some European countries. South Africa’s lowly ranking would make it more difficult for its national team players to move in the future.

Ivory Coast have kept their place as the top-ranked African side, while Algeria have taken over second place from Ghana. Libya and Mali round out the top five, followed by Egypt, Tunisia, Gabon, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

Spain have maintained their healthy lead over second-placed Germany in the global list, with England in third, while the only change in the top 10 sees Portugal move into fourth at the expense of Uruguay.

The remainder of the top 10 is Italy, Argentina, Netherlands, Croatia and Denmark.

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