The Niger national football team, nicknamed the Menas, is overseen by the Fédération Nigerienne de Football and a member of CAF. Niger plays in the colors of the Flag of Niger, white, green, and orange. Their nickname comes from the Dama Gazelle, native to Niger, the Hausa name of which is Meyna or Ménas The Dama appears on their badge in the colors of the national flag.
Although one of the weaker sides in the strong West Africa region, Niger has produced a couple of noteworthy runs in qualifying tournaments.
One of their best performances was in the 1982 World Cup qualifiers, in which Niger eliminated Somalia and Togo on away goals, but were beaten by Algeria in the third round where only eight teams were left. Notable players in this run included Jacques Komlan, Hassane Adamou and Moussa Kanfideni.
In 1990 they set one record – they trashed Mauritania 7–1 in continental qualifiers, which is for now the highest win for the Mena.
In the 2004 African Nations Cup qualifiers, Niger won all their home games (including a win over Guinea) to finish on 9 points, just 3 short of qualification.
The Niger squad is also plagued by financial concerns, which have caused them to withdraw from international tournaments on more than one occasion. The Niger FA would have turned to fundraising to pay for their trip to the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola, had they qualified.
After home wins—but away losses—over South Africa and Sierra Leone, on 8 October 2011 Niger qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in its history, despite losing 3-0 in Egypt. Niger, South Africa and Sierra Leone all ended with nine points, but Niger qualified thanks to their superior head-to-head record against their rivals.
At the 2012 African Cup of Nations, Niger was placed in Group C along with co-hosts Gabon, Tunisia and Morocco. In their opening match Gabon made a comfortable 2-0 win against debutants. Against Tunisia in Libreville, Niger trailed 1-0 on an early goal from Youssef Msakni in which he dribbled his way through for a fine goal after just four minutes. But William Tonji Ngounou made history when his goal was Niger's first ever goal at the African Cup of Nations. The 1-1 draw looked likely, but Issam Jemaa's goal would eliminate Niger from the tournament. In the final match, Niger faced Morocco in a match featuring two teams eliminated from the tournament.Younes Belhanda scored on the assist of Marouane Chamakh just 11 minutes from time to give Morocco a 1-0 victory.
In their first match on 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Niger lost to Mali 1-0, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The Eagles captain Seydou Keita handed Mali the hard-fought victory five minutes before the end of the encounter. Niger earned their first point ever at the African Cup of nations after holding DR Congo to a 0-0 draw. In the third match Ghana outclassed Niger 3-0 to reach the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup as Group B winners. Niger finished bottom of the group.
On 22 May 2014, Niger played a friendly match against Ukraine, marking the first ever match against a European nation. Oumarou Bale scored in the 56th minute, cancelling out a 20th minute goal from Ivan Ordets, before Ukraine won on a goal from Taras Stepanenko as the match finished 2-1.
Niger beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in a match played on 27 July 2013, but because of losing the first match 1-0, this match went to extra time and then the penalties. Niger lost 6-5 on penalties, but under the FIFA rules this match counts as a win.
Match versus Libya in November 2010 finished 1–1, after which Niger lost 4–1 in penalty shootout. Under the rules of association football and the official European Championship tournament regulations, a loss inflicted via a penalty shootout does not count as a defeat, but rather a tie which needed a final process to determine the team which advances.