The Burundi National team has lost 2 places in the monthly FIFA ranking, dropping from 141st place to 145th place after recent international friendly matches against Indonesia. These matches, which took place during the March international break, saw Burundi struggle, with a loss of 3-1 in the first match and a draw of 2-2 in the second.
This decline in ranking may be attributed to a lack of conviction in the choices made by Burundi’s new coach, Étienne Ndayiragije. These two matches were his first with the team, and it’s possible that he is still adjusting and trying to figure out the best tactics for his squad.
Despite the disappointment, some fans have voiced their confidence in Ndayiragije’s selections and tactics, given his reputation as a highly skilled tactician from his previous tenure as coach of the Tanzania Taifa Stars.
Adding to the challenges faced by the team in the two matches, several senior figures were absent, including the legendary Saido Ntibazonkiza, the mighty playmaker of Simba Sport Club, and Youssuf Ndayishimiye, defender for OGC Nice in France. Both players reported injuries, which was not believed by the Burundi National Team who slammed them for lacking patriotism.
As a response to the absences, the Burundi Football Federation has announced a new framework that will penalize players who are unable or unwilling to report for the national team while having been selected by the coach.
Burundi’s chances to qualify for AFCON 2023 at stake as team sits last in crucial group with two games remaining
In a group of three teams where two qualify, Burundi chances to qualify for the second time in the AFCON after 2019 are at stake as it is set to play Namibia in June before playing the last game of the group phase against Cameroon in September. Burundi now sits last with 1 point in the group led by Namibia with 5 points while Cameroon comes second with 4 points. The only possible way for the Burundi Swallows to remain in the race is to secure three points by defeating Namibia and aiming for at least a draw against Cameroon in their home match.
The situation is highly complicated for Etienne Ndayiragije, the new head coach of Burundi, who will need to devise ingenious strategies to make the dream of Burundi’s national team supporters of qualifying to the AFCON come true.
Argentina becomes top-ranked team in latest FIFA ranking, overtaking Brazil, while Morocco remains top in Africa
In the latest March FIFA ranking, Argentina has overtaken Brazil (now ranked 3rd) to become the top-ranked team in the world of football. France has climbed to the 2nd spot in the rankings. The top of Africa is still dominated by Morocco (11th), followed by Senegal (18th).
In the regional rankings, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the highest-ranked team at the 70th spot, followed by Uganda at 89th, Kenya at 102nd, and Tanzania at 130th. Rwanda has made strides by moving up two positions, now ranked 135th.