22 November 2009

Brunei join Afghanistan at No 192 in FIFA rankings

BRUNEI and war-torn Afghanistan are now joint 192nd in the latest International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) world rankings released on Friday.

Continuing their slide down the 203-member table, the Sultanate has dropped 14 places from its standing of 178th on October 20.

A total of 104 'A' international matches were played since the October edition of the ranking, taking the number of matches evaluated in the ranking this year to 805.

The British Virgin Islands are also tied on 192nd according to Fifa's website (www.fifa.com).

Brunei's continental ranking (Asian Football Confederation) is 43rd in the field of 46 countries, ahead of Afghanistan, Bhutan and Timor-Leste.

Brunei's worst drop, it is no surprise since they have not played an international match since May when they competed in the qualifying round of the 2009 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in Sri Lanka - where they lost all three of their group stage games.

They do not look like taking to the field in an international fixture any time soon though since they are currently suspended by Fifa and are no longer eligible to compete in international matches.

During its last meeting in September, the Fifa Executive Committee suspended the Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (Bafa) due to what it called 'government interference in its affairs'.

Bafa was deregistered from the Registrar of Societies (Ros) on November 15 last year for failing to submit its activity and financial reports as requested. However, despite providing the relevant documents to get reinstated on December 22, the appeal was rejected.

Brunei's suspension from the world governing body means they are on course to break their previous lowest ranking of 199th in 2004 and 2005.

Steadily moving up the world table since then, their fortunes have suffered over the past years due to poor results and lack of matches.

The sultanate's best ranking remains their standing of 143rd in August 1993, and their average position has been 182nd.

Source : Brunei Times

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