South Africa's good showing in the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has moved the team up 25 places in the latest Fifa World Cup rankings. Picture: Reuters
South Africa's good showing in the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has moved the team up 25 places in the latest Fifa World Cup rankings.
South Africa has jumped to 60th in the world, and returned to the top 10 on the continent. The latest rankings were released on Thursday.
Bafana Bafana put up a remarkable performance in the Afcon, losing to Mali on penalties in the quarterfinals, following a 1-1 scoreline after extra time.
"This is a good start for our country, and is certainly in line with our pledge to see Bafana Bafana in the top three on the continent and top 20 in the world," said SA Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani.
"We should at this stage congratulate coach Gordon Igesund and his technical team, as well as all the players, for this remarkable achievement."
Under Igesund, Bafana Bafana have played seven friendly matches --against Brazil, Mozambique, Poland, Kenya, Zambia, Norway and Algeria --and four competitive games in the Afcon, against Cape Verde, Angola, Morocco and Mali.
"We should also take this opportunity to wish our head coach a speedy recovery from his [appendix] operation. We hope he will come back stronger to continue with the good work that he has started," said Nematandani.
Top 10 African countries: 1 Ivory Coast (12 overall), 2 Ghana (19), 3 Mali (25), 4 Nigeria (30), 5 Algeria (32), 6 Tunisia (42), 7 Zambia (47), 8 Central African Republic (51), 9 Burkina Faso (57), 10 South Africa (60).