Gambia women's national football team

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 The Gambia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Association Gambia Football Association
Sub-confederation WAFU (West Africa)
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Head coach Bubacarr Jallow
FIFA code GAM
First colours
Second colours
First international
n/a

The Gambia women's national football team represents the Gambia in international football competition. The team, however, has not competed in a match recognised by FIFA, the sport's international governing body, despite that organised women's football has been played in the country since 1998. The Gambia has two youth teams, an under-17 side that has competed in FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup qualifiers, and an under-19 side that withdrew from regional qualifiers for an under-19 World Cup. The development of a national team faces challenges similar to those across Africa, although the national football association has four staff members focusing on women's football.

The team[edit]

In 1985, few countries had women's national football teams.[1] While the sport gained popularity worldwide in later decades, the Gambia's national team only played its first game in 2007.[2][3] That game was not FIFA-recognised. As of March 2012, the team was unranked by FIFA,[4] and as of the following month the Gambia had not played in a FIFA-sanctioned match.[5] The team has not participated in major regional and international tournaments, including the Women's World Cup, the 2010 African Women's Championship or the 2011 All-Africa Games.[6][7][8]

The country did not have a FIFA-recognised youth national team until 2012, when the Gambia under-17 women's team competed in Confederation of African Football qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in Azerbaijan in September 2012. The Gambia had fielded an under-17 team of 24 players, narrowed from an initial pool of 49 young women.[9][10] Two girls from the SOS Children’s Village Bakoteh were chosen as a members of the team.[9] The Gambia first played Sierra Leone in a pair of qualifying matches for the tournament. Gambia won the first match 3-0 in Banjul, the Gambia's capital.[10] The return match was delayed in for 24 hours and played in Makeni.[10] The Gambia beat Sierra Leone 4-3 to qualify for the final round.[11] The Gambia then beat Tunisia 1-0 at home and won 2-1 in Tunisia. Adama Tamba and Awa Demba scored the Gambia's goals. Tunisia's only goal was a Gambian own goal. The win qualified Gambia for the 2012 Azerbaijan World Cup.[12]

The Gambia also has an under-19 team that was to play in the African Women's U-19 Championship in 2002. The Gambia's first match was against Morocco, but the team withdrew from the competition.[13]

Background and development[edit]

The development of women's football in Africa faces several challenges, including limited access to education, poverty amongst women, inequalities and human rights abuses targeting women.[14][15][16][17] Funding is another issue impacting the game in Africa, where most financial assistance comes from FIFA and not national football associations.[18] Another challenge is the retention of football players. Many women footballers leave the continent to seek greater opportunity in Europe or the United States.[18]

Gambia's national football association was founded in 1952, and became affiliated with FIFA in 1968.[7][19] Football is the most popular women's sport in the country, and was first played in an organized system in 1998.[19] A national competition was launched in 2007,[20] the same year FIFA started an education course on football for women.[2] Competition was active on both the national and scholastic levels by 2009.[2] There are four staffers dedicated to women's football in the Gambia Football Association, and representation of women on the board is required by the association's charter.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chrös McDougall (1 January 2012). Soccer. ABDO. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-61783-146-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Goal! Football: Gambie". FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 3. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Saavedra, Martha; Centerfor African Studies, University of California, Berkeley (December 2007). "Women’s Football in Africa". Third Transnational Meeting on Sport and Gender, Urbino. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "The FIFA Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Gambia: Fixtures and Results". FIFA. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Groups & standings – All Africa Games women 2011". CAF. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Ballard, John; Suff, Paul (1999). The dictionary of football : the complete A-Z of international football from Ajax to Zinedine Zidane. London: Boxtree. p. 258. ISBN 0752224344. OCLC 59442612. 
  8. ^ "Fixtures – African Women Championship 2010". CAF. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Goal for the girls!". SOS Children's Villages International. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  10. ^ a b c "Sierra Leone host Gambia in FIFA Women’s U-17 qualifying match in Makeni". Sierra Leone Football. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Gambia beat Tunisia on the 1st lega of the Final Round". Gambia: Gambia Football Association. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Gambian Girls Make Heroic Return". Gambia: Gambia Football Association. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "African Women U-19 Championship 2002". Rsssf.com. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Jean Williams (15 December 2007). A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-84520-674-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Richard Giulianotti; David McArdle (2006). Sport, Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7146-5344-0. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Chris Hallinan; Steven J. Jackson (31 August 2008). Social And Cultural Diversity In A Sporting World. Emerald Group Publishing. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-0-7623-1456-0. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Jean Williams (18 December 2003). A Game for Rough Girls?: A History of Women's Football in Britain. Routledge. pp. 173–175. ISBN 978-0-415-26338-2. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Gabriel Kuhn (24 February 2011). Soccer Vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics. PM Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-60486-053-5. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  19. ^ a b c FIFA (2006). "Women's Football Today". Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Goal! Football: Gambie". FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 16 April 2012.