Except for a three-point drop after disastrous losses to Iran and Iraq in 2022 World Cup qualifying matches, the standing of the Cambodian men’s football team in the global stage has stood virtually unchanged in the last six months.
From being 169th in the world in September 2019, the Cambodian Men’s National Football Team dropped three spots a month later after a 14-0 loss to host Iran in October 2019 and a 4-0 defeat to a visiting team from Iraq that same month.
After that, Cambodia’s ranking among football federations in the world never rose above 173 or below 172, a check of the rankings released by the Federation de Football Association (FIFA) shows.
The global governing body for football releases the rankings every month based on a national team’s performance in FIFA-sanctioned international football competitions like World Cup qualifying matches.
In November 2019, Cambodia dropped one notch to become the 173nd best team in the world. Since then, the Kingdom has maintained that ranking.
Cambodia’s cause was not helped by a 2-0 loss to host Hong Kong in its World Cup qualifying match in November last year. To recall, Cambodia’s prior draw with Hong Kong and a narrow loss to Bahrain allowed it go up in the rankings before that.
FIFA has yet to release its rankings for March 2020, apparently as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Most World Cup qualifying matches and other football competitions around the world have been temporarily suspended because of the outbreak.
It remains to be seen if the Kingdom will be able to improve on its ranking in the near future, with powerhouse teams standing in its way.
The Koupreys, as the national team is called, is scheduled to play return matches with national teams from Bahrain, Iran and Iraq. Cambodia was supposed to play Bahrain on March 26, Iran on March 31 and Iraq on May 4, but all three games were postponed because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Tasnim News of Iran reported yesterday that the second match between Iran and Cambodia will be held in Phnom Penh in the third week of October. For the other matches, there is still no announcement from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or FIFA.