Football in Niger
While popular, Niger have so far been unsuccessful in international football, never winning a major tournament and failing to qualify for any FIFA World Cup finals, though they did reach the quarterfinals of qualifying in 1982, before losing to Algeria, who qualified for the 1982 World Cup. They have either failed to qualify or been forced to withdraw from every African Nations Cup since 1969. As of 2008, there are no Nigerien nationals playing with top level European clubs. In 2004, a handful of Nigerien internationals were playing in Europe including Moussa Yahaya at Legia Warsaw in Poland and Ibrahim Tankary in Belgium's Jupiler League. Moussa Narry, a Nigerien citizen but a Ghana international, has played in the Netherlands and currently plays with AJ Auxerre of France.
Football in Niger is almost entirely amateur, with some of the ten teams in the Niger Premier League (begun in 1966) being semi-professional. The Niger Cup (begun in 1974) is open to amateur leagues throughout the nation. League play has been dominated by clubs from the capital city of Niamey, with Sahel SC Niamey and Olympic FC de Niamey capturing almost two thirds of the titles between them. Below this there are numerous local and national amateur leagues and competitions. Many sections of the Nigerien government, notably the police and armed forces, sponsor amateur clubs.
Football's popularity, as well as the Nigerien peoples passion for international football was highlighted by former World Footballer of the Year Zinedine Zidane's visit to Niger in 2007. Mobbed by fans at every stop, Zidane delivered funds and toured projects both football and development related.
Nigerien Football Topics
Nigerien Football Stadia
- Ismaël Alassane
- Kassaly Daouda
- Alhassane Issoufou
- Daouda Kamilou
- Mohammed Muyei
- Moussa Narry
- Ibrahim Tankary
- Moussa Yahaya
- Moussa Maazou
Nigerien International Referees
- See: List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita and List of countries by Human Development Index
- Visite de Zinedine Zidane au Niger. 13-12-07 communiqué de presse: Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement, Niger.
- FIFA: Fédération Nigerienne de Football News and background. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- FIFA: Goal Programme - Fédération Nigerienne de Football - 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2008.