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Thomas Gaëtan Bong (born 25 April 1988) is a Cameroonian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion and the Cameroon national team. He previously played at senior level for Metz, Tours, Valenciennes, Olympiacos and Wigan Athletic and represented France at under-21 level, before switching to his native Cameroon.
Bong warming up for Brighton & Hove Albion in 2018
|Full name||Thomas Gaëtan Bong|
|Date of birth||25 April 1988|
|Place of birth||Sackbayeme, Cameroon|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|Brighton & Hove Albion|
|2008–2009||→ Tours (loan)||34||(0)|
|2015–||Brighton & Hove Albion||91||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:50, 5 October 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:03, 30 June 2019 (UTC)
Early career and ValenciennesEdit
Bong was born in Sackbayeme, Centre Region. He began his career in the youth side for Metz and was loaned out for the 2008–09 season to Ligue 2 club Tours. On 29 July 2009, the 21-year-old left Metz to sign a four-year deal with Valenciennes for £595,000, where he made 117 overall appearances for the club and scored 4 goals.
2013–14 with OlympiacosEdit
On 19 August 2013, he signed a contract with Olympiacos for £850,000, where he played 19 games and scored 1 goal against Asteras Tripoli in the Greek Cup. Bong helped Olympiacos win their 41st Superleague Greece title this season. Bong also made 4 appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
Brighton & Hove AlbionEdit
In June 2015, Bong joined EFL Championship side Brighton on a free transfer, signing an initial two-year contract with the south coast club. He appeared regularly for the club until tearing his tendon in October 2015, ruling him out for 21 games throughout the season. He would only appear as a substitute for the rest of the season, making three appearances. He also played in the playoffs, as the club lost to Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-finals 3–1 on aggregate.
In the 2016–17 season, Bong was again a regular for the first half of the year, however due to persistent injuries he was not included in the squad for much of the second half apart from three games: a victory against Birmingham City, another against Wigan, and a loss to Bristol City. Brighton finished the season as runners up to Newcastle United, gaining automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Bong's contract was due to expire at the end of the season, however he signed a new one-year contract with the club as Brighton aim to survive their first Premier League season.
Bong played two matches for Brighton in the EFL Cup, the second a 1–0 away defeat against AFC Bournemouth. He made his Premier League debut in a 2–0 away defeat against Arsenal on 1 October 2017. He started for Albion in their next five league games as they embarked on an unbeaten run that saw the club reach as high as 8th place in the Premier League.
On 25 November, Bong was involved in an incident with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku in Brighton's 1–0 league defeat at Old Trafford, where Lukaku attempted to kick Bong twice in Brighton's penalty area. Lukaku ultimately did not face retrospective action for the incident, with referee Neil Swarbrick's report confirming that he had not seen the incident, but the FA panel could not reach a unanimous verdict.
Bong accused Jay Rodriguez of making a racist remark during a 2–0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on 13 January 2018. The West Brom forward was charged by the Football Association on 8 February in relation to the incident. The charges were later found not proven by the F.A. due to lack of evidence, but the FA was "completely satisfied" Bong's complaint was "made in absolute good faith" and "there has been no suggestion that this was a malicious or fabricated complaint".
On 4 May 2018 Bong played in the 1–0 home win over Manchester United which secured The Albion's Premier League survival with two games remaining.
Bong played the whole match where Brighton beat Manchester United at home for the second season running on 19 August 2018. The game finished 3–2 to the Albion. Bong played in two FA Cup matches this season as The Seagulls reached the semi final. Bong faced competition for a place in the side from teammate Bernardo where they both started 19 league games and coming on as subs on 3 occasions. Brighton finished 17th in the table as they secured their Premier League status. In February 2019 two Burnley fans were accused of using racist slurs against Bong and homophobic slurs against Brigton fans. Their criminal trial collapsed in October 2019.
In May 2019, Bong signed a one-year contract extension, until June 2020.
Bong's first appearance under their new manager, Graham Potter came on 27 August 2019 where Brighton beat Bristol Rovers 2–1 away from home in the EFL Cup. His first league appearance of the season came on 14 September coming on as a substitute in a 1–1 home draw against Burnley. Bong made his 100th appearance for the Sussex club on 28 September coming on as a substitute in a 2–0 away defeat to Chelsea in what also happened to be his 50th Premier League appearance.
Bong was eligible to play for either France, where he grew up, or Cameroon, where he was born. He played one international match for the France U21, before opting to play for Cameroon.
Bong played one match for Cameroon in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cameroon's last group match against the Netherlands, where Cameroon lost 2–1. Cameroon lost all three group games, finishing bottom of Group E of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Bong was included in the Cameroon squad for the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. The defending champions, Cameroon beat Guinea-Bissua 2–0 in their opening group game with Bong an unused substitute. Bong started in their next group stage match against Ghana where it finished 0–0.
- As of 5 October 2019
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Tours (loan)||2008–09||Ligue 2||34||0||1||0||1||0||—||36||0|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2015–16||Championship||16||0||0||0||1||0||2[b]||0||19||0|
- As of match played 29 June 2019
Brighton & Hove Albion
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- "Jay Rodriguez charged". The Football Association. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- Fifield, Dominic (13 April 2018). "FA finds allegations of racial abuse by Jay Rodriguez 'not proven'". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
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- "Burnley fans abuse trial collapses over 'failings'". 29 October 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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- "Bristol Rovers v Brighton & Hove Albion - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- "Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Burnley: Jeff Hendrick scores in stoppage time to earn visitors a point - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. 14 September 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- "Chelsea 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Frank Lampard says hosts 'needed win' - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
- "Africa Cup of Nations: Holders Cameroon too strong for Guinea-Bissau - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- "Africa Cup of Nations: Cameroon 0-0 Ghana - Live - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
- "Gaëtan Bong". L'Équipe. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
- "G. Bong". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
- "Games played by Gaëtan Bong in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "Games played by Gaëtan Bong in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "Games played by Gaëtan Bong in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "Games played by Gaëtan Bong in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- "Games played by Gaëtan Bong in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
- "Gaëtan Bong". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
- Anderson, John, ed. (2017). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2017–2018. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 82–83. ISBN 978-1-4722-3397-4.