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MBABANE – As calls for Sihlangu coach Pieter De Jongh to step down becomes louder, the national outfit keep falling ‘harder’ on the FIFA charts.

Just when the nation was still coming to terms with the shocking 42 places drop in the past month, Sihlangu suffered another setback yesterday. Standings released by the world soccer governing body saw the national side dropping seven places to occupy the 139th spot out of 206.

They are just two places above 141, which is their average position since the FIFA world rankings were introduced.
Before the standings were released, Sihlangu played Zambia back-to-back African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers and the nation’s pride lost 0-7 on aggregate.
In the African continent, Swaziland is also nearing the basement of the table, following a decline to rank number 41 out of 54 countries.

The continuous drop is bad news as Sihlangu could no longer be seeded in major tournaments. They will be forced to play in the first hurdle of the qualifiers. This year they had avoided playing in the preliminary round of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier, as they were in the top 100 at the time of the draw.

They will have to make amends during their next competitive match on the last weekend of March 2018 when they welcome Tunisia in a 2019 AFCON qualifier.
In 2017, Sihlangu have failed to win an official match in four attempts. This has led to the continuous calls for the Dutch mentor to step down.

Meanwhile, Brazil has unseated reigning world champions, Germany, at the summit of the charts. Egypt’s Pharaohs, who are on position 25 in the world, are Africa’s best side.

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