Friday, June 21, 2024

Blog: From 15th in 1996 to 34 in 2012 & now 88th in World

In 1993, Zambia’s best ranking on the World Rankings was 25 in August while the worst was 29 in December.

This was a new team constructed after the Gabon Air crash in April 1993.

Just before the CAF 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia in February, Zambia was ranked 30th in the world.

By March 1993, Kalusha Bwalya captained young side broke into the top 20 bracket as they hit 19th in the World under the late Scottish coach Ian Porterfield.

This was after Emmanuel Amunike’s double cancelled out Elijah Litana’s early header.

Zambia defender Mordon Malitoli taking care of Emmanuel Amunike

The following year, now under Dannish coach Roald Poulsen, Zambia moved out of the top 20 rankings in the World and posted it’s worst record in 2 years in October 1995.

At that time, Zambia was ranked 34th.

Then after beating the likes of Tunisia [2-0] in a friendly matches in the build up to the 1996 AFCON in Msanzi, Zambia ended the year on 21st.

With defending Champions Nigeria boycotting the AFCON in South Africa, Zambia were bookmakers’ favourites but succumbed to pressure losing 4-2 in the semi finals to Tunisia.

Zambia still ended with a bronze medal after beating Ghana.

Zambia’s 1996 team were ranked as the 15th in the World and the best on the continent. Vincent Mutale, Dennis Lota, Andrew Tembo and Hillary Makasa were the new kids on the block.

The run to third place included thumping victories over Burkina Faso, Sierra Lone and Egypt and draw against Algeria.

Despite not winning the AFCON, Zambia emerged as the no.1 ranked side in Africa and 15th in the World in February 1996.

In June 1997 Zambia was ranked 18th and just before the AFCON in Burkina Faso, Burkard Zisse’s was still ranked 18th (February 1998).

The lighting strike following the Ouagadougou or is it Bobo-Dioulasso as Zambia was eliminated in the group stage.

By 2004, Zambia was hitting it’s worst ever record with a ranking of 80 in the world.

Zambia’s AFCON Squad in 2000. Jones Mwewa and Elijah Tana in central defence with Emmanuel Musichili in goal. And the two German boys Andrew Sinkala and Moses Sichone in midfield. Laughter Chilembi and Manasseh Mwanza as full back. Bernard Makufi, Dennis Lota, Kalusha Bwalya and Andrew Tembo in attack

In February 2011, Zambia was above 100 at 102 but fortunately 12 months later, Chris Katongo, Isaac Chansa, Francis Kasonde and Hichani Himonde under the tutelage eye of Frenchman Herve Renard gave the country, its finest moment.

Boom! Zambia brought home the AFCON trophy and atleast saw a remarkable rise to 34 on the Coca Cola World Rankings.

Kindly put your own caption!

Since October 2016 todate, Zambia has been ranking between 67 to 90 and currently ended the year on 88th.

Will Zambia ever return to the glory years?

Well the ZamFoot Crew takes a look at how Zambia performed in 2021.

FIFA Ranking: 88

Africa: 23

Total Games: 23

Win: 7

Draw: 6

Loss: 10

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