The Gambia national football team (recognized at The Gambia by FIFA) 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).
|Association||Gambia Football Federation (GFF)|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||Tom Saintfiet|
|Most caps||Omar Colley (49)|
|Top scorer||Assan Ceesay (13)|
|Home stadium||Independence Stadium|
|Current||126 9 (30 November 2023)|
|Highest||65 (June 2009)|
|Lowest||179 (March 2017)|
| British Gambia 2–1 Sierra Leone |
(Gambia; 9 February 1953)
| Gambia 6–0 Lesotho |
(Bakau, Gambia; 13 October 2002)
| Guinea 8–0 Gambia |
(Guinea; 14 May 1972)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2021)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (2021)|
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. 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.
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 stadium edit
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.
Results and fixtures edit
The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss Fixture
|24 March 2023 AFCON qualification||Mali||2–0||Gambia||Bamako, Mali|
|19:00 UTC±0||Report||Stadium: Stade du 26 Mars|
Referee: Jean Ouattara (Burkina Faso)
|28 March 2023 AFCON qualification||Gambia||1–0||Mali||Casablanca, Morocco|
||Report||Stadium: Stade Mohamed V|
Referee: Kouassi Attisso Attiogbe (Togo)
|14 June 2023 AFCON qualification||South Sudan||2–3||Gambia||Ismailia, Egypt|
|15:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Suez Canal Stadium|
Referee: Dahane Beida (Mauritania)
|10 September 2023 AFCON qualification||Gambia||2–2||Congo||Marrakesh, Morocco|
|20:00 UTC+1||Report||Stadium: Stade de Marrakech|
Referee: Mohamed Maarouf Eid Mansour (Egypt)
|16 November 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification||Burundi||3–2||Gambia||Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|16:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Benjamin Mkapa (National Stadium)|
Referee: Djindo Louis Houngnandande (Benin)
Coaching staff edit
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.
|Head coach||Tom Saintfiet|
|Team Manager||Ousman Drammeh|
|Assistant coach||Alagie Sarr|
|Physical Coach||Ibrahim Diomandeh|
|Goalkeeper coach||Alhagie Marong|
|Goalkeeper coach||Adama Colley|
|Team Doctor||Pa Landing|
|Equipment Manager||Mustapha Kassama|
|Technical Assistant||Ismail Barrow|
|International Scout||Cody Sanneh|
Coaching history edit
Current squad edit
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Modou Jobe||27 October 1988||30||0||Black Leopards|
|GK||Baboucarr Gaye||24 February 1998||17||0||Lokomotiv Sofia|
|GK||Lamin Sarr||11 March 2001||0||0||Eskilsminne IF|
|DF||Omar Colley||24 October 1992||48||1||Beşiktaş|
|DF||Bubacarr Sanneh||14 November 1994||36||1||Unattached|
|DF||Noah Sonko Sundberg||6 June 1996||16||0||Levski Sofia|
|DF||James Gomez||14 November 2001||15||1||Sparta Prague|
|DF||Saidy Janko||22 October 1995||7||0||Young Boys|
|DF||Muhammed Sanneh||19 February 2000||8||0||Baník Ostrava|
|DF||Ismaila Jome||4 November 1994||2||0||San Antonio|
|MF||Dawda Ngum||2 September 1990||21||0||Ariana|
|MF||Hamza Barry||3 May 1994||20||1||Vejle|
|MF||Ebou Adams||15 January 1996||14||0||Cardiff City|
|MF||Alasana Manneh||8 April 1998||10||0||Odense|
|MF||Alieu Fadera||3 November 2001||2||0||Zulte Waregem|
|MF||Mahmudu Bajo||15 August 2004||0||0||Železiarne Podbrezová|
|MF||Jacob Mendy||27 December 1996||0||0||Wrexham|
|FW||Assan Ceesay||17 March 1994||35||13||Damac|
|FW||Musa Barrow||14 November 1998||32||6||Al Taawoun|
|FW||Ablie Jallow||14 November 1998||27||7||Metz|
|FW||Ebrima Colley||1 February 2000||21||1||Young Boys|
|FW||Muhammed Badamosi||27 December 1998||18||2||Čukarički|
|FW||Abdoulie Sanyang||8 May 1999||12||0||Grenoble|
Recent call ups edit
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|
|DF||Ibou Touray||24 December 1994||20||0||Stockport County||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|DF||Marian Sarr||30 January 1995||0||0||Union Titus Pétange||v. Mali, 28 March 2023|
|MF||Sulayman Marreh||15 January 1996||34||1||Hapoel Haifa||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Sainey Njie||30 August 2001||3||0||Radnik Surdulica||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Jesper Ceesay||20 October 2001||0||0||IFK Norrköping||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Saidou Khan||5 December 1995||0||0||Swindon Town||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|MF||Alfusainey Jatta||5 August 1999||0||0||RFS||v. Mali, 28 March 2023|
|FW||Yankuba Minteh||22 July 2004||1||1||Feyenoord||v. Congo, 10 September 2023|
|FW||Ali Sowe||14 June 1994||9||0||MKE Ankaragücü||v. Mali, 28 March 2023|
|FW||Yusupha Njie||3 January 1994||6||0||Al-Markhiya||v. Mali, 28 March 2023|
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.
- As of 14 June 2023
- Players in bold are still active with Gambia.
Most appearances edit
|2||Pa Modou Jagne||43||2||2006–present|
Top goalscorer edit
|Aziz Corr Nyang||3||17||0.18||2002–2011|
|Ebrima Ebou Sillah||3||24||0.13||1996–2008|
Competitive record edit
FIFA World Cup edit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Part of United Kingdom||Part of United Kingdom|
|1970||did not enter||did not enter|
|1982||did not qualify||2||0||1||1||2||1|
|1990||did not enter||did not enter|
|1998||did not qualify||2||1||0||1||2||5|
|2026||to be determined||2||0||0||2||2||5|
|2030||to be determined|
Africa Cup of Nations edit
|Africa Cup of Nations record|
|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|
|1992||did not qualify|
|1994||did not enter|
|1996||Withdrew during qualifying|
|1998||Banned for withdrawing in 1996|
|2002 to 2013||did not qualify|
|2017||did not qualify|
|2025||to be determined|
- Amilcar Cabral Cup
- Runners-up (3): 1980, 1985, 2001
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 30 November 2023. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 5 December 2023. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
- "The Gambia". FIFA. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: Gambia". World Football Elo Rankings. Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
- "Gambia – List of International Matches". Rsssf.com. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Gambia v Lesotho, 13 October 2002". 11v11.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
- "The Gambia disqualified from all Caf competitions". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 6 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Gambia National Stadium". Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Tom Saintfiet named new Gambia coach". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 July 2018. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
- "Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
- "Gambia". National Football Teams.