Bafana Bafana have moved up four places in the Fifa world rankings, the South African Football Association (Safa) announced on Wednesday.
Coach Pitso Mosimane’s men have moved up to 47th place on the latest Fifa/Coca-Cola world rankings released on Tuesday, and have made similar strides on the continent ranking, moving from the 12th spot to eighth position.
South Africa were ranked 66th shortly before the 2010 World Cup.
“This is in line with our vision of being number one on the continent,” Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said in a statement. “It also supports our commitment to building a world-class national team. We believe we are on the right track, and would like to say congratulations to the Bafana Bafana technical team, especially the coach, and also the players for the sterling work they have put in.
“Credit should also go to the whole country for their support towards their own national team.”
Nematandani was quick to warn that the team should not rest on its laurels as there is still room for improvement.
“This is certainly a journey of a thousand miles, so we should warn all those involved that we are not there yet; only hard work will take us to our desired destination.
“We should never be complacent, but always remain focused on our target — which is to reach even greater heights,” he added..
His sentiments were echoed by Mosimane, who was also elated at the news of South Africa’s rise in the world rankings.
“We are happy with the improved rankings. This is a good sign that we are making progress towards achieving our Vision 2014 goals,” said Mosimane.
“We are, however, mindful of the heavy load of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be.
“But this achievement serves as an inspiration to the technical team, the players and the association in general,” he added.
“We made a pledge that we will work very hard in our quest to restore South Africa’s pride in continental and global football, and we are happy with the progress made so far.”
World champions Spain are still the number one ranked country in the world, followed by The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Argentina in the top five.
The top 10 is completed by England, Uruguay, Portugal, Croatia and Greece.
On the African continent Ghana top the list, followed by Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Guinea. North Africans Tunisia and Algeria are the other countries in the top 10
The next Fifa/Coca Cola rankings will be released on March 9. — Sapa