Women’s team staring at FIFA rankings exit

Wahid Ullah Bakul | Published: 21:51, Mar 29,2020


Bangladesh women’s football team on Sunday slipped to 134th from 130th in the latest FIFA rankings and are at risk of being taken out of the rankings list completely if they do not play an international game within the next six months.

According to FIFA, if a national team does not play any international game in an 18-month period, that team will no longer be listed in the FIFA rankings.

Bangladesh women’s team played their last international match a little over a year ago, on March 20, 2019 where they suffered a 0-4 defeat against India in the semi-final of the SAFF Women’s Championship at the Shaheed Rangasala Stadium in Biratnagar, Nepal.

Not taking part in any international game since then was the sole reason for the dip in rankings, claimed Bangladesh women’s team coach Golam Rabbani Choton and he urged the federation to utilise the next available FIFA window for international games to avoid getting taken off from the rankings.

‘Not playing a match in the last one year is the only reason behind slipping down. We need to utilise FIFA windows to keep our name in the ranking the list,’ Choton told New Age on Sunday.

‘It is a must situation for our national team to play a FIFA game within the next six months. If it does not happen, we will be out of the rankings,’ Choton added.

Bangladesh Football Federation’s women’s wing chairman and FIFA council member Mahfuza Akhter Kiron said that BFF had plans of organising matches for the women’s national team but all their plans were now thrown into uncertainty because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

‘We had taken preparations to utilise some FIFA windows this year, but now everything is uncertain. We lost one window in March, now April window is also uncertain. Let’s see what happens next and what we can do in August and September,’ Kiron said.

Kiron also said the women’s team were set to end their international match drought in March with a friendly match against Singapore and three to four more matches were also in the works for later this year before the deadly virus outbreak disrupted their plans.

The women’s team captain Sabina Khatun echoed her coach, citing the lack of matches as the sole reason behind their slip and pointed out the scarce number of matches available for the women’s team without big tournaments.

‘The cause of losing place in rankings is that we did not play an international game for a long time. Other countries are playing FIFA friendly matches but we play only in the tournaments,’ said Sabina.

Among others South Asian nations, India moved two steps ahead to reach 55th place while Nepal dropped to 99th from 97th and both Sri Lanka and Maldives dropped four steps to be placed 140th and 142nd respectively.

Previously, Bangladesh were ranked 130th in the rankings published on December 13, 2019 with their best ranking being 100, which they had achieved on December 15, 2017.

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