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The Gambia national football team, nicknamed The Scorpions, is the national team of The Gambia and is controlled by the Gambia Football Federation. Until 1965, the team and the country, were known as British Gambia. It has never qualified for the World Cup or the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

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 capsEbrima Sohna (27)
Top scorerMustapha Jarju (5)
Home stadiumIndependence Stadium
FIFA codeGAM
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 161 Increase 2 (14 June 2019)[1]
Highest65 (June 2009)
Lowest179 (March 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 120 Increase 23 (20 July 2019)[2]
Highest93 (January 1984)
Lowest145 (22 November 1993)
First international
The Gambia British Gambia 3–2 Senegal 
(Gambia; 5 December 1962)
Biggest win
 Gambia 6–0 Lesotho 
(Banjul, Gambia; 12 October 2002)
Biggest defeat
 Guinea 8–0 Gambia 
(Guinea; 14 May 1972)

Contents

HistoryEdit

Under the name British Gambia, the team played their first ever game on 5 December 1962, beating neighbouring Senegal 3–2 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 1975, 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.[3]

The Gambia's most famous player is Biri Biri, who starred for Sevilla in the 1970s.

In May 2014, The Gambia was banned from all CAF competitions for two years after deliberately falsifying players' ages.[4]

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.

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.[5]

Competitive recordEdit

Gambia Football AchievementsEdit

Amilcar Cabral Cup :
  • 3 Times Runners-up

World Cup recordEdit

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 to
  1978
Did not enter Did not enter
  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 To be determined To be determined
      2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/21 24 6 6 12 21 35

Africa Cup of Nations recordEdit

Africa Cup of Nations record
Host nation(s) / 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 To be determined
  2023
  2025
Total 0/32

2018 FIFA World Cup qualificationEdit

Gambia were drawn in the first qualifying round against Namibia and were eliminated following a 1–1 draw[6] in Banjul and 1–2 defeat[7] in Windhoek.

Gambia  1–1  Namibia
Jammeh   78' Report (FIFA)
Report (CAF)
Stephanus   61'
Referee: Ousmane Karembe (Mali)

Namibia  2–1  Gambia
Stephanus   42'
Somaeb   63'
Report (FIFA)
Report (CAF)
Dibba   10'
Referee: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)

Namibia won 3–2 on aggregate and advanced to the second round against Guinea.

Recent results and forthcoming fixturesEdit

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
Technical Director   Sang Ndong
Assistant Coach   Mattar M'Boge
Goalkeeping Coach   Alhagie Marong
Team Doctor   Kalifa Manneh
Physiotherapist   Pa Matarr Ndow
Equipment Manager   Mustapha Kassama

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for a series of friendlies matches in June 2019 against Guinea and Morocco.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Modou Jobe (1988-10-27) October 27, 1988 (age 30) 25 0   El-Kanemi Warriors
18 1GK Baboucarr Gaye (1998-02-24) February 24, 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Arminia Bielefeld
14 2DF Simon Richter (1985-01-16) January 16, 1985 (age 34) 6 0   Brønshøj
4 2DF Dawda Ngum (1990-09-02) September 2, 1990 (age 28) 7 0   Brønshøj
3 2DF Bubacarr Sanneh (1994-11-14) November 14, 1994 (age 24) 13 0   Anderlecht
15 2DF Omar Colley (Vice-Captain) (1992-10-24) October 24, 1992 (age 26) 16 0   Sampdoria
12 2DF Mamadou Danso (1983-04-27) April 27, 1983 (age 36) 16 2   UiTM
9 2DF Pa Modou Jagne (Captain) (1989-12-26) December 26, 1989 (age 29) 32 1   Zürich
2DF Saidy Janko (1995-10-22) October 22, 1995 (age 23) 0 0   Porto
6 3MF Sulayman Marreh (1996-01-15) January 15, 1996 (age 23) 12 0   Eupen
16 3MF Mohammed Mbye (1989-06-18) June 18, 1989 (age 30) 2 0   Mjällby
2 3MF Hamza Barry (1994-10-15) October 15, 1994 (age 24) 11 0   Hajduk Split
5 3MF Yusupha Bobb (1996-06-22) June 22, 1996 (age 23) 3 0   Chievo
15 3MF Ebrima Sohna (1988-12-14) December 14, 1988 (age 30) 29 2   Keşla
3MF Sheriff Sinyan (1996-07-19) July 19, 1996 (age 23) 2 0   Lillestrøm
19 4FW Ebrima Colley (2000-02-01) February 1, 2000 (age 19) 2 0   Atalanta
10 4FW Modou Barrow (1992-10-03) October 3, 1992 (age 26) 8 1   Reading
7 4FW Lamin Jallow (1994-07-22) July 22, 1994 (age 25) 8 1   Salernitana
11 4FW Assan Ceesay (1994-03-17) March 17, 1994 (age 25) 7 3   Zürich
13 4FW Musa Barrow (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 20) 6 1   Atalanta
21 4FW Bubacarr Jobe (1994-11-21) November 21, 1994 (age 24) 4 1   Mjällby
4FW Yusupha Njie (1994-01-03) January 3, 1994 (age 25) 1 0   Boavista
4FW Bubacarr Trawally (1994-11-10) November 10, 1994 (age 24) 5 0   Al-Shabab
4FW Aboubakary Kanté (1994-08-11) 11 August 1994 (age 24) 0 0   Béziers
4FW Jibril Bojang (1994-09-13) September 13, 1994 (age 24) 2 0   Mjøndalen

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Gambia – List of International Matches". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  4. ^ "The Gambia disqualified from all Caf competitions". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-08-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Namibia secured a 1–1 draw away to Gambia". kickoff.com. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
  7. ^ "Warriors beat Gambia to setup Guinea clash". nbc.na. Retrieved 2015-10-13.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Tom Saintfiet named new Gambia coach". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.

External linksEdit

  • GFF Official federation website