Safa explain rankings blunder

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SA Football Association chief executive Dennis Mumble says Fifa's rankings system is not flawed, but merely misunderstood.

Johannesburg – SA Football Association (Safa) chief executive Dennis Mumble says Fifa's rankings system is not flawed, but merely misunderstood.

Bafana Bafana failed to make any impression on the latest world rankings released on Thursday, despite beating World and European Champions Spain 1-0 in an international friendly last month.

“I wish to make it clear that Bafana are not slipping down the rankings,” Mumble said at Safa's headquarters in Johannesburg on Thursday.

“The rankings are worked out based on a mathematical system that takes into account a variety of factors in determining the outcome.”

The organisation’s president Danny Jordaan was quoted in an official Safa press release last month as saying the points gained from the international friendly would be included in this month’s positioning.

The reason why the side did not move up the rankings, despite beating the number one-ranked team in the world, was because friendly matches carried much less weight than competitive fixtures, while the points gained were averaged out through the year.

“The points are expected to be reflected in time,” Mumble said.

“The ranking system takes into account results over a four-year period. Therefore, 2010 and 2011 results have a much greater impact, but we are confident the rankings will reflect our real place next year.”

South Africa, who dropped one place to 62nd in the world and 13th overall in Africa, will host 10th-ranked Brazil on March 5 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

“In my opinion, Brazil is one of the greatest teams of all time,” Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said after Safa confirmed the fixture on Thursday, despite the news also being broken in Brazil last month and appearing on Fifa's international calendar.

“For a team, players and coaches to play against the best teams in the world is something that doesn't usually happen.”

It would be the fifth time the two sides would meet since 1996

with Brazil winning the four previous encounters Ä 3-2 in Soweto, 2-1 and 1-0 in Johannesburg, and 1-0 in Sao Paulo last September.

Their last encounter, played in Brazil's largest city, marked Igesund's first game in charge of the national team.

Meanwhile, Brazilian ambassador to South Africa Pedro Mendonca dismissed any fears that the South American nation would be unable to host the 2014 Fifa World Cup, following doubts about the organisers meeting deadlines before the kick-off in June next year.

“Everything changes by the time the tournament starts. Brazilians are absolutely passionate about football,” Mendonca said.

“As in South Africa, I'm sure it's going to be a very lively and a great world cup.

“You must also remember that it's the second world cup in Brazil.

“I'm sure the whole population is going to be united and it will be a very successful tournament.” Brazil had previously hosted the World Cup in 1950, when Uruguay lifted the trophy. – Sapa

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