Brunei national team remains 191st in FIFA rankings

Fadhil Yunus

The Brunei Darussalam national football team remain at 191st place in the world, according to the latest FIFA world rankings published recently.

The rankings, which featured the men’s and women’s national football teams across various confederations, were released for the first time this year.

The Wasps are two points adrift of Mongolia, their final opponents in the international scene during the World Cup qualifying two years ago, and seven behind Bhutan.

The national team are four points clear of American Samoa, seven ahead of Cayman Islands and 10 more than Samoa.

In terms of rankings designated for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) teams only, Brunei remain in 42nd place out of 46 member associations. As in previous rankings, they are ahead of Asean Football Federation (AFF) rivals Timor Leste, Guam, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Players during a national training session. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

The Wasps underlined their intent of reaching the group stages of the AFF Suzuki Cup – which is scheduled to be held in December tentatively – following the appointment of esteemed coach Datuk K Rajagobal.

The national team also underwent a training stint at the NFABD Football Field earlier this month under the guidance of Datuk K Rajagobal.

Meanwhile, Vietnam are the highest ranked Southeast Asian team in the rankings in 93rd place whilst the highest ranked team affiliated to the AFF are Australia in 41st place.

The reigning AFF Suzuki Cup holders are in pole position for qualification to the third round of World Cup qualifying as they currently sit at the summit of Group G ahead of Malaysia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and already-eliminated Indonesia.

Vietnam Head Coach Park Hang-seo recently said his charges need to tally six points in the remaining three games to be assured of qualification into the next round for the first time.

Thailand are the second best ranked Southeast Asian team in 110th place while Philippines, which were formerly the best ranked Southeast team, are third in 124th place.

Belgium, spearheaded by the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, sit at the top of the rankings followed by world champions France and Brazil in second and third place, respectively. England, managed by Gareth Southgate, are fourth best while Portugal completed the top five.

The Asian Football Confederation recently announced that the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying matches will be moved to June due to the travel restrictions and quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.