Burundi is the surprise package in the newly-released FIVB World Ranking for both men and women as Kenyan and Tunisia dominate African volleyball space.
Though Tunisia and Kenya lead the men and women rankings in Africa respectively, the grading of Burundi above neighbours Uganda and Rwanda, an emerging volleyball powerhouse in Africa, has surprised many volleyball pundits as the International Volleyball Federations adopts the new world ranking system effective February.
“I don’t believe Burundi would be ranked higher than Rwanda and Uganda, Nason Bwesigye, Uganda head coach said.
But is it not only Burundi that is making news for the wrong reason, in Africa, Zimbabwe (women) and Ghana (Men) are the least attractive teams in the world.
Generally, there are no significant changes in the list with Brazil and China leading the men and women’s world standings. The only major difference from the previous ranking is Turkey who dislodged World and European champions, Serbia for fifth place.
Closer home, Tunisia retained their place at the top of the continent and 17th globally while Kenya once again beat Cameroon for the top position in the women’s ranking.
Egypt is right behind Tunisia both in Africa and at the global stage followed by Cameroon who jumped a place up in the global stage to 24th. Algeria (28), Morocco (44) and Congo (50) complete the top six in Africa.
Three African countries; Namibia (136), Zimbabwe (136) and Ghana (220) are leading the world from behind.
Kenya women, christened Malkia Strikers, reclaimed the leadership of the continental throne from their arch rivals from the West Africa (Cameroon) are 23rd in the world with 142 points world ranking score.
They are followed closely by Cameroon at position 24th globally while Algeria (35) is above a stagnant Egypt who didn’t move a place,remaining at position 39, just a place above Senegal, in the world stage.
Morocco is at position 68 globally and just seven places above Botswana while Tunisia, once a powerhouse in Africa, remained at position 79.
Surprisingly, the picture is totally different at the age group competition where three North African countries, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco are leading. Tunisia are the best placed African team in the under 21 category where they are ranked 10th globally followed by Egypt just a place down with Morocco occupying 13th place in the world.
Egypt is the top most African country in the girls’ category where they occupy position 11th followed by Rwanda (15) and Cameroon just two places below them.
Back to the senior category and once again, Zambia and Zimbabwe lead the world from behind.