Gambia national football team

The Gambia national football team represents The Gambia in men's international football and is controlled by the Gambia Football Federation. Until 1965, the team and the country were known as British Gambia. The team has never qualified for the World Cup. In 2021, Gambia qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time in history. The team represents both FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Gambia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Scorpions
AssociationGambia Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationWAFU (West Africa)
Head coachTom Saintfiet
CaptainPa Modou Jagne
Most capsPa Modou Jagne (42)
Top scorerAssan Ceesay (11)
Home stadiumIndependence Stadium, Bakau
FIFA codeGAM
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 124 Decrease 1 (23 June 2022)[1]
Highest65 (June 2009)
Lowest179 (March 2017)
First international
 British Gambia 2–1 Sierra Leone
(Gambia; 9 February 1953)
Biggest win
 Gambia 6–0 Lesotho 
(Bakau, Gambia; 13 October 2002)
Biggest defeat
 Guinea 8–0 Gambia 
(Guinea; 14 May 1972)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances1 (first in 2021)
Best resultQuarter-finals (2021)

HistoryEdit

Under the name British Gambia, the team played their first ever game on 9 February 1953 against Sierra Leone, winning 2–1 at home in a friendly.[3] In April 1963, the team entered the L'Amitié tournament in Senegal, a competition mainly for French-speaking nations. They were drawn in a group with France's amateur team, the Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Gabon. Their first match was lost 5–1 to the French amateurs on 11 April. The Gambia drew 2–2 with the Upper Volta on 13 April, and had the same result the very next day versus Gabon. The Gambia did not advance to the next round.

After the tournament in Senegal, the Gambia did not play another match until 16 November 1968, when they travelled to Sierra Leone to play its team in a friendly and lost 2–1. They played again in Sierra Leone in The Gambia's next match on 24 April 1971, and the hosts won 3–1. On 2 May 1971, The Gambia travelled to Guinea for a friendly and lost 4–2. On 14 May 1972, The Gambia returned to Guinea for their first African Games qualifier and lost 8–0 and were knocked out.

In 1975, the Gambia entered its first qualification campaign for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Canada. They were drawn in a qualifier against Guinea, and lost the first leg 1–0 at home on 27 April 1975. The second leg was lost 6–0 in Guinea on 1 June as Guinea advanced 7–0 on aggregate.

In August of that same year, the Gambia entered their first qualification for the African Cup of Nations, with the aim of reaching the 1976 finals in Ethiopia. They were drawn in a two-legged qualifier against Morocco and lost the first leg 3–0 away on 10 August. They lost by the same score in their home leg on 24 August and Morocco advanced 6–0 on aggregate.

After the qualification campaign for the 1976 finals, The Gambia played their first match against a full European side, losing a home friendly 4–1 to Denmark on 30 January 1977.[4]

On 12 October 2002, the team got their biggest ever victory in international competition, a 6–0 victory against Lesotho. [5]

In May 2014, the Gambia was banned from all CAF competitions for two years after deliberately falsifying players' ages.[6]

The nation's fortunes improved in qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Although they failed to qualify, they took it to the final round of games, including drawing twice with African giants Algeria.

On 13 November, in their first Group D match of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Gambia defeated Angola 1–3 in Luanda. This was the Scorpions' first away win in an AFCON or FIFA World Cup qualifier ever, at their 40th attempt. An impressive campaign saw them qualify for their first ever major tournament that year. As the lowest-ranked team in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the Gambia defied the odds by defeating favourites Tunisia in the group stage, finishing unbeaten in 2nd place in the group. A further win against Guinea in the Round of 16 saw them reach the quarter-finals at their first attempt, eventually going out to tournament hosts Cameroon.

Home stadiumEdit

 
Football fans watching Gambia v Guinea

Independence Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bakau, Gambia. It is currently used mostly for football matches, although it is also used for music concerts, political events, trade fairs and national celebrations. The stadium holds 30,000 people.[7]

Recent schedule and resultsEdit

The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss

2021Edit

9 October Friendly Gambia   1–2   Sierra Leone El Jadida, Morocco
  • Ceesay   22'
Report
Stadium: Stade El Abdi
12 October Friendly Gambia   2–1   South Sudan El Jadida, Morocco
Stadium: Stade El Abdi
16 November Friendly New Zealand   2–0   Gambia Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
20:00
Report Stadium: Zayed Sports City Stadium
Referee: Sultan Mohamed Al Hammadi (United Arab Emirates)

2022Edit

1 January Friendly Algeria   Cancelled   Gambia Qatar
12 January 2021 AFCON Mauritania   0–1   Gambia Limbe, Cameroon
17:45 Report
Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)
16 January 2021 AFCON Gambia   1–1   Mali Limbe, Cameroon
Report
Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Samir Guezzaz (Morocco)
20 January 2021 AFCON Gambia   1–0   Tunisia Limbe, Cameroon
20:00
Report Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico)
24 January AFCON Round of 16 Guinea   0–1   Gambia Bafoussam, Cameroon
17:00 Report Mu. Barrow   71' Stadium: Kouekong Stadium
Referee: Amin Omar (Egypt)
29 January AFCON Quarter Finals Gambia   0–2   Cameroon Douala, Cameroon
17:00 Report
Stadium: Japoma Stadium
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (Burundi)
23 March 2023 AFCON preliminary round Chad   0–1   Gambia Yaoundé, Cameroon
17:00 UTC+1
Stadium: Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium
29 March 2023 AFCON preliminary round Gambia   2–2
(3–2 agg.)
  Chad Agadir, Morocco
17:00 UTC±0
Report
Stadium: Stade Adrar
29 May Friendly United Arab Emirates   1–1   Gambia Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Report
Stadium: Zabeel Stadium
Referee: Omar Al-Yaqoubi (Oman)
4 June 2023 AFCON qualification Gambia   1–0   South Sudan Thiès, Senegal
16:00 UTC±0 A. Jallow   45+4' Report Stadium: Stade Lat-Dior
Referee: Jean Ouattara (Burkina Faso)
September 2023 AFCON qualification Mali   v   Gambia
Report
September 2023 AFCON qualification Gambia   v   Mali
Report

2023Edit

March 2023 AFCON qualification Gambia   v   Congo

Coaching staffEdit

In July 2018, former Togo and Zimbabwe coach Tom Saintfiet, was appointed as head coach. Saintfiet took over from former international Sang Ndong who is now technical director of the Gambia Football Federation (GFF) following the end of his contract in January.[8]

Head Coach   Tom Saintfiet
Team Manager   Ousman Drammeh
Assistant Coach   Alagie Sarr
Physical Coach   Daniele Caleca
Goalkeeper Coach   Alhagie Marong
Goalkeeper Coach   Jo Stock
Team Doctor   Pa Landing
Physiotherapist   Tom Mertens
Physiotherapist   Joppe Vermeulen
Equipment Manager   Mustapha Kassama
Technical Assistant   Robby Echelmeyer
Video Analyst   Jani Sarajärvi
International Scout   Alessandro Soli

Coaching historyEdit

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against South Sudan and Congo, on 4 and 8 June 2022.[9]

Caps and goals are correct as of 8 June 2022, after the match against Congo.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Modou Jobe (1988-10-27) 27 October 1988 (age 33) 29 0   Jeddah
1GK Baboucarr Gaye (1998-02-24) 24 February 1998 (age 24) 13 0   Rot-Weiß Koblenz
1GK Lamin Sarr (2001-03-11) 11 March 2001 (age 21) 0 0   Torns IF

2DF Omar Colley (1992-10-24) 24 October 1992 (age 29) 41 0   Sampdoria
2DF Bubacarr Sanneh (1994-11-14) 14 November 1994 (age 27) 35 1   SønderjyskE
2DF Ibou Touray (1994-12-24) 24 December 1994 (age 27) 16 0   Salford City
2DF James Gomez (2001-11-14) 14 November 2001 (age 20) 12 1   AC Horsens
2DF Muhammed Sanneh (2000-02-19) 19 February 2000 (age 22) 6 0   Pohronie
2DF Sainey Njie (2001-08-30) 30 August 2001 (age 20) 3 0   DAC
2DF Kalifa Manneh (1998-09-02) 2 September 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Taranto

3MF Sulayman Marreh (1996-01-15) 15 January 1996 (age 26) 32 1   Gent
3MF Ablie Jallow (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 23) 24 6   Seraing
3MF Yusupha Bobb (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 26) 19 0   Piacenza
3MF Hamza Barry (1994-05-03) 3 May 1994 (age 28) 17 0   Hajduk Split
3MF Ebrima Darboe (2001-06-06) 6 June 2001 (age 21) 13 0   Roma
3MF Sulayman Bojang (1997-09-03) 3 September 1997 (age 24) 8 0   Skeid
3MF Matarr Ceesay (2000-01-19) 19 January 2000 (age 22) 2 0   AmaZulu

4FW Assan Ceesay (1994-03-17) 17 March 1994 (age 28) 32 13   Zürich
4FW Musa Barrow (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 23) 28 5   Bologna
4FW Lamin Jallow (1994-07-22) 22 July 1994 (age 28) 19 1   Fehérvár
3MF Modou Barrow (1992-10-13) 13 October 1992 (age 29) 18 2   Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
4FW Bubacarr Jobe (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 27) 17 3   Norrby IF
4FW Muhammed Badamosi (1998-12-27) 27 December 1998 (age 23) 15 1   Čukarički
4FW Abdoulie Sanyang (1999-05-08) 8 May 1999 (age 23) 8 0   Grenoble
4FW Dembo Darboe (1998-08-17) 17 August 1998 (age 23) 5 0   Shakhtyor Soligorsk

Recent call upsEdit

The following players have also been called up to the Gambia squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Sheikh Sibi (1998-02-21) 21 February 1998 (age 24) 3 0   Virtus Verona v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022

DF Pa Modou Jagne (captain) (1989-12-26) 26 December 1989 (age 32) 43 2   Dietikon v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
DF Noah Sonko Sundberg (1996-06-06) 6 June 1996 (age 26) 11 0   Levski Sofia v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
DF Mohammed Mbye (1989-06-18) 18 June 1989 (age 33) 15 0   Ifö Bromölla IF v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
DF Saidy Janko (1995-10-22) 22 October 1995 (age 26) 6 0   Real Valladolid v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
DF Leon Guwara (1996-06-28) 28 June 1996 (age 26) 5 0   Jahn Regensburg v.   New Zealand, 16 November 2021
DF Maudo Jarjué (1997-09-30) 30 September 1997 (age 24) 2 0   IF Elfsborg v.   New Zealand, 16 November 2021

MF Dawda Ngum (1990-09-02) 2 September 1990 (age 31) 19 0 Unattached v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
MF Ebrima Sohna (1988-12-14) 14 December 1988 (age 33) 38 3   Fortune v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
MF Ebou Adams (1996-01-15) 15 January 1996 (age 26) 11 0   Forest Green Rovers v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022

FW Ebrima Colley (2000-02-01) 1 February 2000 (age 22) 16 0   Spezia v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
FW Bubacarr Trawally (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 27) 16 1   Hammarby IF v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022
FW Yusupha Njie (1994-01-03) 3 January 1994 (age 28) 6 0   Boavista v.   Chad; 29 March, 2022

WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Player has retired from international football.
SUS Suspended from the national team.

RecordsEdit

As of 8 June 2022[10]
Players in bold are still active with Gambia.

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Part of   United Kingdom Part of   United Kingdom
  1934
  1938
  1950
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970 Did not enter Did not enter
  1974
  1978
  1982 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 1
  1986 2 1 0 1 3 6
  1990 Did not enter Did not enter
  1994 Withdrew Withdrew
  1998 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 5
    2002 2 0 0 2 0 3
  2006 2 1 0 1 2 3
  2010 6 2 3 1 6 3
  2014 6 1 1 4 4 11
  2018 2 0 1 1 2 3
  2022 2 0 0 2 1 3
      2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/22 26 6 6 14 22 38

Africa Cup of NationsEdit

Africa Cup of Nations record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
  1957 to   1963 Part of United Kingdom
  1965 Not affiliated to CAF
  1968 to   1974 Did not enter
  1976 Did not qualify
  1978 Did not enter
  1980 to   1988 Did not qualify
  1990 Withdrew
  1992 Did not qualify
  1994 Did not enter
  1996 Withdrew during qualifying
  1998 Banned for withdrawing in 1996
    2000 Withdrew
  2002 to   2013 Did not qualify
  2015 Banned
  2017 Did not qualify
  2019
  2021 Quarter-finals 6th 5 3 1 1 4 3
  2023 TBD
  2025
Total 1/33 5 3 1 1 4 3

HonoursEdit

Amilcar Cabral Cup :
  • Runners-up (3)


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 23 June 2022. Retrieved 23 June 2022.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 2 August 2022. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  3. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Gambia". World Football Elo Rankings. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Gambia – List of International Matches". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Gambia v Lesotho, 13 October 2002". 11v11.com.
  6. ^ "The Gambia disqualified from all Caf competitions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Tom Saintfiet named new Gambia coach". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  9. ^ "25 man squad". Facebook. Gambia Football Federation.
  10. ^ "Gambia". National Football Teams.

External linksEdit