Rwanda has dropped to 74th in the latest FIFA rankings released yesterday from a historic 64th position that was achieved last month.
The drop follows a 2-0 defeat to Zambia in an international friendly match last month, an occurrence Amavubi head coach Johnny McKinstry said was inevitable.
“Obviously, we’ve dropped and this was expected even before it happened.
“I looked at the FIFA rankings before we played that game and, even if we had won it, we were going to drop. The way rankings are conducted has changed and winning matches is not a guarantee for better rankings. Of course we are disappointed but over a period of time, we would like to move forward,” McKinstry.
The Irishman emphasised that the most important goal for the Amavubi is to try and qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as well as perform well in the upcoming 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) that will be staged in Rwanda from January 16-February 7.
McKinstry said, “The biggest priority for Amavubi is to qualify for Afcon 2017 and do well in Chan because this is what matters.”
Rwanda was drawn in Group H with Ghana, Mozambique and Mauritius with the best team in this group qualifying directly to the final tournament that will be hosted in Gabon. The best two runners-up overall will join the hosts to make 16 teams.
The last time Rwanda qualified for the most prestigious football tournament on the continent was in 2004, which came at the expense of Uganda and Ghana. Amavubi were table leaders with seven points having beaten both sides at home and held Uganda to a goalless draw at Namboole stadium in Kampala.
Meanwhile, Uganda moved two places up to 72nd becoming the highest ranked team in the Cecafa region, while Ethiopia, Tanzania and Sudan are in 101st, 107th and 110th positions, respectively. Kenya is 117th while Burundi is 123rd. South Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti are 193rd, 206th and 207th in that order.