Harambee Stars drop in latest Fifa rankings, Rama Salim returns

Rama Salim

Kenya’s Harambee Stars has dropped three places to sit 91st in the latest FIFA rankings released on Thursday.

Stars did not pick any win in the two matches played in the month of August/September, playing to a goalless draw away to Uganda Cranes before settling for a 1-1 draw with Zambia in their final 2017 African Cup of Nations Qualifier.

The Chipolopolo dropped one place to 92nd while Uganda who broke a 38-year wait to qualify for the Nations Cup two weeks ago remain the best placed East African country despite having stuck at 65th, just one spot behind former African giants Nigeria.

Rwanda have risen massively, moving 14 places up to 107th after picking a 1-1 draw in their AFCON qualifier away to Ghana early this month.

Neighbors Tanzania have dropped eight places to 132nd while Sudan have gone up six spots to 135th.

Ivory Coast, the African champions are now the best placed side in the continent after moving two places up to 34th with Algeria dropping from the apex after moving down three places to 35th.

Worldwide, Germany has moved into the top three after climbing a spot up, swapping places with Colombia who are now fourth.

The status quo was maintained at the top with Argentina and Belgium still ranked first and second respectively.

A rejuvenated Brazil, under new coach Tite, moved into joint fourth place thanks to victories against Colombia and Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers.

Wales have risen a place to 10th in the Fifa world rankings, one spot above Spain, following their 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Moldova. England are also up one place to 12th after beating Slovakia 1-0.

Portugal, France, Chile and Uruguay are the other teams in the top ten.

Meanwhile, former Gor Mahia striker Rama Salim has made a comeback to the national football team, Harambee Stars after being named in a 39-man provisional squad ahead of the international friendly match against DR Congo. 

Salim, who features for Slovakian side MFK Topvar Topolcany, will be playing under coach Stanley Okumbi for the first time since last turning out for Harambee Stars in 2013 at the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) Qualifier.

Also making a return is the foreign based duo of midfielder Johanna Omolo and Greece’s Acharnaikos winger Paul Were who all missed the Uganda Cranes friendly and final 2017 AFCON qualifier against Zambia away in Ndola.

Ulinzi Stars custodian James Saruni will be seeking his maiden cap after he managed to make the squad where he will fight it out with regular Boniface Oluoch of Gor Mahia and Tusker FC’s David Okello.

Defender Bernard Ochieng from National Super League side Vihiga United, Western Stima’s forward Kennedy Otieno, Kevin Odongo from Posta Rangers and Kakamega Homeboyz defender Charles Momanyi make their dream debuts to the team.

Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have seven players; the biggest chunk while leaders Tusker FC has only two same as Mathare United.

The local based players will report residential camp on Monday next week, while the foreign based players led by skipper Victor Wanyama who turns out for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur will link up with the rest of the squad beginning October 2.

The match will be played October 4 away in Kinshasha against a team that qualified for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

Goalkeepers: Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), David Okello (Tusker)

Defenders: David Owino (Zesco United), David Ochieng’ (New York Cosmos), Brian Mandela (Maritzburg United), Aboud Omar (Slavia Sofia), Eric Ouma, Harun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Collins Omondi, Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Charles Momanyi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Bernard Ochieng’ (Vihiga United), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United)

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs), Johanna Omollo (Royal Antwerp), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United), Ayub Timbe (Lierse), Paul Were (Archanaikos),  Rama Salim (Topolcany), Ismail Gonzalez (Las Palmas), Baron Oketch, Amos Nondi, Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Michael Mutinda (Thika United), Frederick Onyango (Sony Sugar), Victor Majid (Chemelil Sugar),Kenneth Muguna, Kennedy Otieno(Western Stima), Danson Kago (Tusker FC), Eric Johanna (Mathare United), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC Leopards)

Strikers:  Michael Olunga (IF Djurgardens), Jesse Were (Zesco United), Masoud Juma (Sony Sugar), Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), Jack Bruno (AFC Leopards), Cavin Odongo (Posta Rangers)





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