Djibouti national football team

The Djibouti national football team, nicknamed the Riverains de la Mer Rouge ("Shoremen of the Red Sea"), is the national football team of Djibouti. It is controlled by the Djiboutian Football Federation, and is a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA). Until its 1–0 defeat of Somalia's national squad in the opening stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Djibouti national football team had never won a full FIFA sanctioned international.

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Riverains de la Mer Rouge (Shoremen of the Red Sea)
AssociationDjiboutian Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
(East & Central Africa)
Head coachJulien Mette
Most capsMoussa Hirir (25)
Top scorerMahdi Houssein Mahabeh (6)
Home stadiumStade du Ville
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 185 Decrease 1 (22 October 2020)[1]
Highest169 (December 1994)
Lowest207 (April–July 2015, November 2015)
Elo ranking
Current 202 Steady (19 November 2020)[2]
Highest94 (1947)
Lowest214 (2016)
First international
 Ethiopia 5–0 French Somaliland
(Ethiopia; 5 December 1947)
Biggest win
 Djibouti 4–1 South Yemen 
(Djibouti City, Djibouti; 26 February 1988)
Biggest defeat
 Uganda 10–1 Djibouti 
(Kigali, Rwanda; 9 December 2001)
 Rwanda 9–0 Djibouti 
(Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; 13 December 2007)


French SomalilandEdit

Djibouti played its first international match under the name French Somaliland, at home against neighbouring Ethiopia on 5 December 1947 and lost 5–0. This was also Ethiopia's debut.[3] The two played again in Djibouti on 1 June 1948 and Ethiopia won 2–1. On 1 May 1949, the fixture was played for the Emperor Cup in Ethiopia, and the host won 6–0. In 1954, Djibouti played Ethiopia three times: a 10–1 away loss on 1 May, a 2–0 home loss on 1 June and a 2–1 home loss the day after. Djibouti did not play a match again until 1960, when it entered a tournament for French-speaking countries held in Madagascar. The team lost 9–2 in the first round to Cameroon on 13 April. This was the squad's last game as French Somaliland.


After gaining independence in 1977, the team played under the name Djibouti for the first time against Ethiopia in an away match on 27 March 1983 and lost 8–1. The two played again two days later with Ethiopia again victorious, by 4–2. After a third friendly against Ethiopia, a 2–0 home defeat on 23 March 1984, Djibouti entered a tournament in Ethiopia against the host and Zimbabwe. They lost 2–0 to Ethiopia on 3 June and then 3–1 to Zimbabwe on 7 June.

Djibouti's first appearance at the CECAFA Cup, a local competition for nations in East and Central Africa, was in Kenya in 1994. These were its first matches since defeating South Yemen in 1988. The Djibouti squad lost 4–1 to the hosts on 28 November, 2–1 to Somalia on 1 December, and 3–0 to Tanzania on 3 December. Djibouti did not advance to the next round.

After the 1994 CECAFA Cup, Djibouti did not play a match until the qualification campaign for the 1998 African Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso. They were drawn in a two-legged qualifier against Kenya, and lost the first leg 3–0 away on 31 July 1998. The second leg at home was lost 9–1 on 15 August and Kenya went through 12–1 on aggregate.

In 1998, Djibouti became a member of the Union of Arab Football Associations (UAFA). The football squad has since participated in the Pan Arab Games, a regional multi-sport event held between nations from the Arab World.

Djibouti entered its first ever World Cup qualification in an attempt to reach the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan. In Pool D of the first round of African qualification, it was drawn against the DR Congo in a two-legged qualifying preliminary. Djibouti hosted the first leg at Stade du Ville in Djibouti on 7 April 2000, drawing the match 1–1 before a crowd of 2,700 fans.[4] The squad lost the second leg 9–1 away at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa and the DR Congo advanced 10–2 on aggregate.[5]

Djibouti has never played in the African Cup of Nations, with the team regularly withdrawing or not entering for financial reasons.

Prior to their four preliminary qualifiers in late 2019, Djibouti had 2 wins, 3 draws and 55 defeats from 60 competitive matches. However, a number of new players were called up and results finally improved. First, in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, Djibouti beat Eswatini 2–1 at home and drew 0–0 in Manzini to advance to the second round for the first time since the 2010 qualifying when they beat Somalia 1-0 (2–1 on aggregate). This was a massive improvement from the previous edition when Djibouti had also played Eswatini and lost 8–1 on aggregate. One Month later, Djibouti played two 1–1 draws against Gambia in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification preliminary round, only losing the tie on penalties.

Recent resultsEdit



Name Nat Period Matches Wins Draws Losses Efficiency %
Mohamed Bader   1998? – Dec 2001 15 0 2 13 6.7%
Ahmed Hussein   Oct 2007 – Dec 2007 4 1 0 3 25%
Mohamed Abar   Jan 2008 – Jun 2008 4 0 0 4 0%
Ahmed Abdelmonem   Jul 2008 – Jul 2010 11 0 1 10 4.6%
Noureddine Gharsalli   Oct 2011 – Jul 2016 5 0 0 5 0%
Michael Gibson[6]   Jul 2016 – Apr 2017 4 1 0 3 25%
Moussa Ghassoum   Dec 2017 – Apr 2019 5 0 0 5 0%
Julien Mette   Apr 2019 – present 0 0 0 0 0%

Competition recordsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 22 October 2020. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". 19 November 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Ethiopia - List of International Matches". Barrie Courtney and RSSSF. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2010-10-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2010-10-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Football Manager proves England and Wayne Rooney don't need Gareth Southgate to beat Malta". Metro. Retrieved 5 April 2017.

External linksEdit