Having gone through the FIFA rankings for January 09, I was not the least surprised to note that our international ranking has slipped to 158. That was only to be expected given our early exit in the AFF in December.
However what shocked me, and I am truly surprised that no one picked this up, was the fact that we are now sixth in Asean, whereas our position was fourth in the November rankings, when we were placed in the 151st position, ahead of both Vietnam (159) and Myanmar (158) at that time. Now both Vietnam and Myanmar have overtaken us with Vietnam at 138 and Myanmar at 156.
Having done a study of the rankings from the time it was first introduced by FIFA in August 1993, I believe that this is the first time that we have slipped to the sixth position in Asean. Below is the summary of rankings for the six top teams from the Asean region.
Highest : August 1993 - 75th position
Lowest : April 2008 - 170th position
Highest : September 1998 - 43rd position
Lowest : December 2006 - 137th position
Highest: September 1998 - 76th position
Lowest: December 2006 - 153rd position
Highest: August 1993 - 73rd position
Lowest: October 2007 - 140th position
Highest: September 1998 - 134th position
Lowest: December 2006 - 172nd position
Highest: April 1996 - 97th position
Lowest: June 2008 - 165th position
Our concern should be not slipping further in the Asean rakings as it will affect our image in the region, let alone thinking about FIFA. We have to hit the alarm right away and not wait. Some may tend to argue that it is just rankings, but isn't that what the KPI that Tuanku President set out for FAM. Perhaps excuses will be offered but Sathia is not to be blamed as he had a plan that no one listened to, and he is always the scapegoat.
In the ROADMAP by former FAM Technical Director Robert Alberts, the plan was to improve the rankings, but today Robert seems to be history, along with the roadmap.