Cameroon is the World’s 40th ranked nation in football according to the monthly rankings released by football’s governing body (FIFA) on Wednesday.
The Lions were ranked 19th in June but after three defeats to Japan (0-1), Denmark (1-2) and Holland (1-2) during the World Cup in South Africa they experienced their worst fall (21 places) since the rankings were introduced.
In December 2009, they were Africa’s top ranked squad (11th in the world) and now they are the 7th best nation on the continent. They are behind Gabon (6th in Africa and 34th in the world), Algeria (5th and 33rd), Nigeria (4th and 30th), the Ivory Coast (2nd and 26th) and Egypt (1st and 9th).
The current rankings simply display a disastrous 2010 in which Cameroon’s Lions have obtained 2 victories for 7 defeats and 4 draws while conceding a total of 22 goals.
The FIFA rankings are made on the basis of points attributed to or deducted from senior national football teams following victories, draws or defeats within a given period. They do not necessarily tell the absolute value of a team on the pitch but they are seen as a scale of a team’s recent progress and usually used to determine seeds in tournaments.
The World Champions Spain currently top the chart followed by Holland, Brazil, Germany and Argentina, in that order.
Returning to a prestigious spot on the FIFA rankings may be on the mind of Cameroon’s new national team coach to be appointed before a friendly international game in August. But, rebuilding Cameroon football after World Cup 2010 is beyond quick victories or defeats.
It has to do with policies and concrete action to develop the game from the grassroots and setting long-term targets to be achieved at various levels of the game and its organisation in the country. Where do we want to be in four years time? What should we achieve by 2014 or 2018?