Contrary to peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s expectations, the Flames have despite being dormant since last December, moved up a step to 98 in the latest Fifa Cola-Cola rankings released on Wednesday.
But the Flames now trail AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kings Zambia by 55 places.
The complexity of Fifa rankingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ calculation criteria on Wednesday saw the Flames jump from 22 to 21 in Africa. However, this pales in comparison to ZambiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 28-step leap, from 71 to 43.
Malawi is fourth in Cosafa, according to Fifa website.
In achieving their first jump into the world top-50 band since 2001, Zambia have a deserved feat for their SundayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winning exploits in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon after dismissing Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire 8-7 on post-match penalties.
The Herve RenardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s side are now CosafaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s number one, displacing South Africa to second place, 10th in Africa and 58th in the world. Angola are on third place in southern Africa, they are the continentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 19th and 83rd in the world.
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations losing finalists, the Elephants, remain the continentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s number one and 15th in the world. In Africa, Ghana are second whereas Algeria are third.
Apart from the two finalists, third-placed Mali (44th, up 25) as well as co-hosts Gabon (45th, up 46) and Equatorial Guinea (110th, up 41) have made considerable ground.
There are also changes in the top 10, with Germany (2nd, up 1) jumping above the Netherlands into second, and Portugal (6th, up 1) as well as Italy (8th, up 1) also making headway. Denmark have moved into the top 10 (10th, up 1), pushing Argentina down to 11th position.
Strength of confederation, points from matches, strength of opposition and importance of match are among the variables in the formula for calculating the rankings, says FifaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s press release of the ratings.