The Gambia senior national team on Wednesday moved five places in the latest FIFA World Rankings released by the world’s football governing body.
Ranked 152 places for the month of April, this is 20 places better than the country was in when Tom Saintfiet took over the rein as head coach.
Coach Tom Saintfiet guided the Scorpions to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations following their 1-0 win over the Palancas Negras of Angola in a qualifier game played at the Independence Stadium in Bakau last month.
Striker Assan Ceesay’s lone goal in the match was enough earned The Gambia a place in the continent’s biggest football fiesta to be hosted in Cameroon next year.
Despite a 1-0 defeat away to the Leopards of the Democratic Republic of Congo in their final qualifier match day; The Gambia finished top spot in Group D of the qualifiers with 10 points after six matches.
The draw for the competition will take place in June 25 with the tournament to be played from 9 January to 6 February2022 in Cameroon.
The championship was due to take place in January and February of 2021, but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced last June that it has rescheduled the event to 2022 due to the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, which had prevented qualifiers taking place.
The Gambia is among 23 countries that have booked a place in the tournament following the last round of qualifiers held last month.
The last and final place of the 24-team tournament will be determined in June, after CAF rescheduled the match between Sierra Leone and Benin due to the latter’s refusal to play when five of their players tested positive for Covid19 in Freetown.