Gibraltar national football team

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Gibraltar
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) GFA
Team 54[1]
Association Gibraltar Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Allen Bula
Asst coach David Wilson
Aaron Edwards
Captain Roy Chipolina
Most caps Ryan Casciaro
Joseph Chipolina
Roy Chipolina (9)
Top scorer Kyle Casciaro
Roy Chipolina
Jake Gosling (1)
Home stadium Victoria Stadium (Friendlies)
Estádio Algarve (Qualifiers)
Europa Point Stadium (Future)
Elo ranking 176[2]
Highest Elo ranking 175 (July 2007)
Lowest Elo ranking 185 (February 2002)
First colours
Second colours
Third colours
First international
 Gibraltar 0–0 Slovakia 
(Faro, Portugal; 19 November 2013)
Biggest win
 Gibraltar 1–0 Malta 
(Faro, Portugal; 4 June 2014)
Biggest defeat
 Gibraltar 0–7 Poland 
(Faro, Portugal; 7 September 2014)
 Republic of Ireland 7–0 Gibraltar 
(Dublin, Republic of Ireland; 11 October 2014)

The Gibraltar national football team represents Gibraltar in football competitions and is controlled by the Gibraltar Football Association. It is not yet a full member of FIFA and is therefore not eligible to enter the World Cup. Gibraltar applied for full UEFA membership and was accepted by the UEFA Congress in May 2013 and can therefore compete in the UEFA European Championship beginning with the 2016 tournament. With a population of 30,000 Gibraltar is the smallest UEFA member in terms of population.[3][4]

Despite not being an island, Gibraltar set up its first official side for the football competition at the 1993 Island Games[5] and has been a regular in the tournament, winning the 2007 edition.[6]

History[edit]

Pre-UEFA[edit]

Gibraltar's first unofficial national match took place against Jersey,[when?] in Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, although the team had previously played friendlies versus professional and amateur clubs. The result was a 2–1 loss for the Gibraltarians. Gibraltar's largest unofficial win was a 19–0 thrashing of Sark, in St. Martin, Guernsey, whilst their largest unofficial loss was 5–0 versus Greenland – an autonomous region of Denmark – which also took part on the Isle of Wight, in Freshwater.

Foundation[edit]

The history of the Gibraltarian national football side can be traced back to April 1923, when it travelled to Spain to play club side Sevilla in a friendly; two games were played and Gibraltar lost both.[5] The side also managed a draw with Real Madrid in 1949.[7][8]

Island Games[edit]

Before joining UEFA, Gibraltar competed in numerous football competitions, most regularly in the Island Games.

The first competition the team entered was the 1993 Island Games, despite Gibraltar not being an island. Gibraltar lost all of its matches, scoring only one goal and finishing in last place.

They had much more success in the 1995 Island Games, which they hosted. Despite losing their opening game against Greenland, Gibraltar bounced back to record their first competitive win, against the Isle of Man. Another victory over Anglesey saw Gibraltar finish second in the group, ahead of Anglesey only on goal difference, and qualify for the semi finals. There, they beat Jersey 1–0, before losing the final to the Isle of Wight by the same scoreline.

In the 1997 Island Games, two wins and two losses in the group stage, followed by a defeat to Shetland in a playoff, saw Gibraltar finish 6th out of 9 teams. Another poor performance in 1999 saw them finish 11th.

Island Games results improved slightly in 2001, as they came 5th, and in 2003 Gibraltar recorded their biggest win ever, defeating Sark 19–0. Other good results against Greenland and Orkney saw them finish 6th out of 12. Despite these minor successes, Gibraltar did not enter the 2005 tournament.

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Isle of Wight 1993 7th Place Match 8 4 0 0 4 1 9
Gibraltar 1995 Runners-Up 2 5 4 0 1 5 3
Jersey 1997 5th Place Match 6 5 2 0 3 13 8
Gotland 1999 11th Place Match 11 4 1 0 3 9 11
Isle of Man 2001 5th Place Match 5 4 3 0 1 7 2
Guernsey 2003 5th Place Match 6 5 3 0 2 29 5
Rhodes 2007 Champions 1 4 3 1 0 9 2
Åland Islands 2009 9th Place Match 9 4 2 1 1 12 3
Isle of Wight 2011 5th Place Match 5 3 2 0 1 14 7
Total 8/11 1 Title 38 20 2 16 99 50
*Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won. Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.

FIFI "Wild Cup"[edit]

In early summer 2006 Gibraltar participated in the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup where it was ranked 3rd. The tournament was an alternative World Cup for non FIFA members, which was only held once. In Gibraltar's opening match, they drew 1–1 with the hosts, the 'Republic of St. Pauli', before beating Tibet 5–0 in their second group game to qualify for the semi-finals. There they lost 2–0 to eventual champions Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In the third place playoff, Gibraltar had a rematch against St. Pauli. This time Gibraltar were able to defeat the hosts, to finish in third place out of the six teams.[9]

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Hamburg 2006 3rd Place Playoff 3 4 2 1 1 8 4
Total 1/1 0 Titles 4 2 1 1 8 4

2008 Four Nations[edit]

In 2008 Gibraltar accepted an invitation to participate in The Four Nations Tournament, the most prominent senior football tournament that Gibraltar had ever participated in. The 2008 Four Nations Tournament, won by England C, was played in North Wales, and was contested between Wales Semi-Pro, England C, Scotland B and guest nation Gibraltar after Northern Ireland decided not to take part. Though Gibraltar eventually finished bottom of the group, they pushed tournament winners England C close.[10]

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Wales 2008 Group 4 3 0 0 3 4 11
Total 1/1 0 Titles 3 0 0 3 4 11

Record of matches[edit]

Opponents Matches Win Draw Loss GF GA
 Åland Islands 1 0 0 1 1 2
Anglesey Ynys Môn 4 1 0 3 3 6
England England C 2 1 0 1 3 2
 Faroe Islands 2 1 0 1 4 4
 Frøya 3 3 0 0 17 1
 Greenland 4 2 0 2 7 7
 Guernsey 1 0 1 0 0 0
Isle of Man Isle of Man 2 2 0 0 3 1
 Isle of Wight 4 2 0 2 6 3
 Jersey 7 1 1 5 8 15
 Madeira 1 0 0 1 0 2
 Minorca 1 1 0 0 2 1
 Monaco 2 1 1 0 6 2
 Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 2
 Orkney 2 2 0 0 9 1
 Rhodes 2 2 0 0 6 0
 Sark 1 1 0 0 19 0
Scotland Scotland Semi-Pro 1 0 0 1 2 4
 Shetland 4 1 0 3 5 6
 Tibet 1 1 0 0 5 0
Wales Wales Semi-Pro 1 0 0 1 2 6

Honours[edit]

  • Winners (1): 2007
  • Runners-up (1): 1995

FIFA membership[edit]

Gibraltar is not yet a member of FIFA. However, the GFA aims to become a full FIFA member in time to participate in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.[11] On 26 September 2014, it was announced that Gibraltar's application for FIFA membership was denied, with president Sepp Blatter stating that Gibraltar is ineligible because it is not an independent country. The Gibraltar Football Association then announced that it planned to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the same process by which Gibraltar successfully gained UEFA membership in 2013.[12]

UEFA acceptance[edit]

Gibraltar starting XI in UEFA debut against Slovakia

Gibraltar first applied for UEFA membership in 1999 but was rejected because of intense opposition from Spain. Spain's opposition stemmed not only from claiming ownership of the territory but from fear that Gibraltar's acceptance would set a precedent that would inspire the separatist Basque national football team and Catalan national football teams to apply for UEFA membership also. The issue was voted on again in 2007 but only three member nations (England, Scotland, and Wales)[8] supported Gibraltar's bid after Spain threatened to withdraw Spanish teams from all UEFA competitions. UEFA then established rules, which were introduced following pressure from Spain, restricting membership to sovereign states recognised as such by the United Nations. The Gibraltar FA then went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2007 and again in 2011 after an appeal and it was ruled that Gibraltar could not be refused membership because the sovereignty rules were not established until after Gibraltar's 1999 and 2007 applications. At this time, Gibraltar was named a provisional member of UEFA and was granted permission to enter national teams in under-17 and under-19 tournaments for the first time.[13][14]

The GFA was accepted as a full UEFA member by resolution of the UEFA congress held in London on 24 May 2013, with only Spain and Belarus opposed.[15][16] This meant Gibraltar became the smallest UEFA member by population, behind San Marino, then Liechtenstein and the Faroe Islands. As a result of the vote, the Gibraltar national team became eligible to enter the qualification tournaments for UEFA's premier national team competition, the European Championship (the Euros). The first such opportunity would be the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which runs from September 2014 to November 2015. Following the examples of Armenia-Azerbaijan and Russia-Georgia, it was confirmed that Gibraltar and Spain would be kept apart in qualifying groups.[4]

After being accepted into UEFA, the GFA outlined adjusted eligibility criteria for the selection of players for the national squad. To be eligible, a player must be British passport-holders who were born in Gibraltar, have Gibraltarian parents or grandparents, or have attended school for five years locally.[17] Former Manchester United, Derby County, Southampton and Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham, whose uncle Allen Bula is the team manager, was eligible to be called up because of this criteria adjustment.[18][19] On 18 September 2013, Higginbotham announced that he agreed in "principle" to play for Gibraltar.[20][21]

Gibraltar's first official international match was a 0-0 friendly draw against Slovakia, on the 19 November 2013 at the Estadio Algarve in Portugal.[22][23] On the 23rd of February, Gibraltar was drawn in Group D for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying alongside Germany, Poland, Georgia, Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Initially, Gibraltar were drawn into the same group as Spain for the tournament but the previous decision to keep the two teams apart in qualifying rounds was upheld and Gibraltar was immediately moved into another group. This will be their first time participating in an official European competition.[24] In June 2014, Gibraltar recorded their first ever victory under UEFA with a 1-0 win against Malta, the goal coming from Kyle Casciaro.[25] On 7th September 2014, Gibraltar played their first competitive match - a Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland. Despite coming into the game with optimism and excitement, they were still massive underdogs and although the half time score was only 1-0 to Poland, it ended 7-0. On 11th October 2014, they were defeated once again by 7-0, this time by Republic of Ireland, in their second Euro 2016 qualifier. In their third match, they were beaten for the third time by Georgia 3-0.

UEFA European Football Championship[edit]

UEFA Euro Record
Year Round Position MP W D L GF GA
1960 to 2012 Not a UEFA Member
France 2016 To be determined
Total 0/0 - 0 0 0 0 0 0

Record of matches[edit]

The following table shows Gibraltar's all-time international record, correct as of 8 September 2014. Only official matches included.

Opponents Played Won Drawn* Lost GF GA GD
 Estonia 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2
 Faroe Islands 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3
 Germany 1 0 0 1 0 4 -4
 Georgia 1 0 0 1 0 3 -3
 Malta 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
 Poland 1 0 0 1 0 7 -7
 Republic of Ireland 1 0 0 1 0 7 -7
 Slovakia 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Total 9 1 2 6 3 28 -25

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Friendly matches[edit]

2013

2014

UEFA Euro 2016 qualification[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following 23 players were called up for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Germany on 14 November 2014.[26]
Caps and goals are correct as of 14 November 2014 after the game against Germany.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jordan Perez (1986-11-13) 13 November 1986 (age 28) 7 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
13 1GK Jamie Robba (1991-10-26) 26 October 1991 (age 23) 3 0 Gibraltar College Europa
23 1GK Liam Neale (1996-12-01) 1 December 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Gibraltar Glacis United
2 2DF Scott Wiseman (1985-10-09) 9 October 1985 (age 29) 6 0 England Preston North End
3 2DF Joseph Chipolina (1987-12-14) 14 December 1987 (age 27) 9 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
4 2DF David Artell (1980-11-22) 22 November 1980 (age 34) 6 0 Wales Bala Town
5 2DF Ryan Casciaro (1982-12-11) 11 December 1982 (age 32) 9 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
6 2DF Roy Chipolina (Captain) (1983-01-20) 20 January 1983 (age 31) 9 1 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
14 2DF Jack Sergeant (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 19) 6 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62
18 2DF Yogan Santos (1985-01-15) 15 January 1985 (age 29) 5 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62
20 2DF Jean-Carlos Garcia (1992-07-05) 5 July 1992 (age 22) 4 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
8 3MF Rafael Bado (1984-12-30) 30 December 1984 (age 29) 2 0 Gibraltar Lynx
10 3MF Liam Walker (1988-04-13) 13 April 1988 (age 26) 8 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
11 3MF Jake Gosling (1993-08-11) 11 August 1993 (age 21) 5 1 England Bristol Rovers
12 3MF Jeremy Lopez (1989-07-09) 9 July 1989 (age 25) 3 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62
16 3MF Brian Perez (1986-09-16) 16 September 1986 (age 28) 4 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
17 3MF Anthony Bardon (1993-01-19) 19 January 1993 (age 21) 2 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
19 3MF Aaron Payas (1985-05-24) 24 May 1985 (age 29) 4 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62
21 3MF Robert Guilling (1980-10-15) 15 October 1980 (age 34) 4 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
22 3MF Anthony Hernandez (1995-02-03) 3 February 1995 (age 19) 1 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62
7 4FW Lee Casciaro (1981-09-29) 29 September 1981 (age 33) 4 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
9 4FW Kyle Casciaro (1987-03-12) 12 March 1987 (age 27) 8 1 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps
15 4FW Adam Priestley (1990-08-13) 13 August 1990 (age 24) 8 0 England Farsley

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up within the past twelve months or withdrew from the current squad due to injury or suspension.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Dayle Coleing (1996-10-23) 23 October 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps v.  Georgia, 14 October 2014
GK Louie Barnfather (1992-10-07) 7 October 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62 v.  Poland, 7 September 2014
GK Kaaron Macedo (1989-01-23) 23 January 1989 (age 25) 0 0 Gibraltar St Joseph's v.  Poland, 7 September 2014
GK Will Britt (1995-03-22) 22 March 1995 (age 19) 0 0 England Southampton Academy v.  Estonia, 5 March 2014
GK Kevin de los Santos (1978-01-18) 18 January 1978 (age 36) 0 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62 v.  Faroe Islands, 1 March 2014
DF Matt Reoch (1983-02-25) 25 February 1983 (age 31) 1 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62 v.  Malta, 4 June 2014
DF Erin Barnett (1996-09-02) 2 September 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Gibraltar Lions Gibraltar v.  Malta, 4 June 2014
DF Danny Higginbotham (1978-12-29) 29 December 1978 (age 35) 3 0 Retired v.  Estonia, 5 March 2014
MF Jamie Bosio (1991-09-29) 29 September 1991 (age 23) 0 0 Gibraltar College Europa v.  Georgia, 14 October 2014
MF Scott Ballantyne (1996-04-12) 12 April 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Gibraltar Manchester 62 v.  Poland, 7 September 2014
MF Tyson Ruiz (1988-03-10) 10 March 1988 (age 26) 0 0 Gibraltar Lynx v.  Malta, 4 June 2014
MF Daniel Duarte (1979-10-25) 25 October 1979 (age 35) 3 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps v.  Estonia, 5 March 2014
MF Liam Clarke (1987-12-04) 4 December 1987 (age 27) 0 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps v.  Faroe Islands, 1 March 2014
FW George Cabrera (1988-12-14) 14 December 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps v.  Poland, 7 September 2014
FW John-Paul Duarte (1987-01-11) 11 January 1987 (age 27) 4 0 Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps v.  Poland, 7 September 2014 WD
FW Reece Styche (1989-05-03) 3 May 1989 (age 25) 1 0 England Tamworth v.  Estonia, 5 March 2014

Player history[edit]

The Gibraltar national football team at the Victoria Stadium in March 2014

Most capped[edit]

As of 14 November 2014

Players with an equal number of caps are ranked in chronological order of reaching the milestone.

# Name Career Caps Goals
1 Ryan Casciaro 2013– 9 0
Joseph Chipolina 2013– 9 0
Roy Chipolina 2013– 9 1
4 Kyle Casciaro 2013– 8 1
Adam Priestley 2013– 8 0
Liam Walker 2013– 8 0
7 Jordan Perez 2013– 7 0
8 Jack Sergeant 2013– 6 0
David Artell 2014– 6 0
Scott Wiseman 2013– 6 0

Most goals[edit]

As of 14 November 2014 Players with an equal number of goals are ranked in order of average.

# Name Career Goals Caps Average
1 Jake Gosling 2014– 1 5 0.2
Kyle Casciaro 2013– 1 8 0.125
Roy Chipolina 2013– 1 9 0.111

Personnel[edit]

Allen Bula, Gibraltar's head coach since 2010

Current technical staff[edit]

As of 5 March 2014[27] [28]

Position Name
Head Coach Gibraltar Allen Bula
Assistant Coach Scotland David Wilson
Head of logistics Gibraltar Aaron Edwards
Goalkeeper Coach Gibraltar Manuel Perez
Assistant Goalkeeper Coach Gibraltar Karl Valarino
Team Doctor Gibraltar Dr. Nathan Chichon
Team Physiotherapist Gibraltar Iain Latin
Team Osteopath England Paul Knight
Massage Therapist Gibraltar Gareth Henwood

Stadium[edit]

Before being accepted into UEFA, the team played its home games at Victoria Stadium, the 5,000-seat national stadium of Gibraltar. There are plans to replace the stadium with the proposed 10,000-seat Europa Point Stadium which was expected to be completed for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying.[29][30][31] Construction is expected to begin in October 2013.[32] While the stadium is under construction, the team will play its home matches at Estádio Algarve about four hours away in Portugal since the Victoria Stadium does not meet UEFA standards for international matches. National team manager Allen Bula stated that the team would play at the stadium for "a few years" until the Europa Point Stadium is complete.[33] Although the Victoria Stadium cannot be used for qualifying matches, it can be used for friendlies when Gibraltar chooses to do so.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team 54". Gibraltar Football Association. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "ELO Rankings". eloratings.net. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Montague, James (22 May 2013). "Gibraltar Moves Closer to Soccer Independence". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Gibraltar given full Uefa membership at London Congress". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Stokkermans, Karel. "Gibraltar – List of International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 29 June 2007. 
  6. ^ Brown, Colin. "NatWest Island Games XII – Rhodes 2007". International Island Games Association. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Owen, Graham. "Football in Gibraltar-". laliganews.tv. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Kenny, Stuart. "From army games to a draw with Real Madrid: A history of Gibraltar football". sports.stv.tv. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "FIFI Wild Cup 2006". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Four Nations Semi-professional Tournament". RSSSF. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Internaitonal news: Gibraltar confirm new stadium plans". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Gibraltar to appeal FIFA decision over member application". pulse.ng. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Doyle, Paul. "Gibraltar set to be new kids on the Rock as Uefa votes on its future". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Background". GFA. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Congress decisions bring Gibraltar on board" (Press release). UEFA. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  16. ^ Lafuente, Javier (24 May 2013). "Gibraltar mete un gol a España". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Culatto, John. "GFA change squad rules for Slovakia friendly". panorama.gi. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Stoke City: Danny Higginbotham confirms Gibraltar approach". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Danny Higginbotham: Gibraltar call-up was too good to refuse". The Sentinel. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Danny Higginbotham agrees to play for Gibraltar". Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Danny Higginbotham agrees to play for Gibraltar at international level". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "Slovakia 0 Gibraltar 0". BBC Sport. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Brennan, Rob (19 November 2013). "Rock solid: Gibraltar hold Slovakia to a goalless draw in their UEFA debut match". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Fifield, Nicola (23 February 2014). "Gibraltar moves group in Euro 2016 qualifiers draw over political tensions". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Gibraltar claim first win with 1-0 victory over Malta". BBC Sport. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "GERMANY SQUAD ANNOUNCED". GIBRALTARFOOTBALL ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  27. ^ "Official Teamsheet". GibFootballTalk. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  28. ^ Franco, Liam. "Football: E – Day has dawned for Gibraltar in UEFA". Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  29. ^ "Our new national stadium". team54.gi. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  30. ^ "‘NO POLITICS, JUST FOOTBALL’ – BEISO". Gibraltar Chronicle. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  31. ^ Doyle, Paul (23 May 2013). "Gibraltar set to be new kids on the Rock as Uefa votes on its future". London: Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  32. ^ Franco, Liam. "GIB’S MAN IN UEFA FLAGS UP STADIUM PROJECT ON TWITTER". Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  33. ^ "Algarve – temporary home for Gibraltar's international football matches". GBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  34. ^ Bailey, Graeme. "Slovakia to be Gibraltar's first opponents". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

External links[edit]