Gambia national football team

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Gambia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Scorpions
AssociationGambia Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationWAFU (West Africa)
Head coachTom Saintfiet
CaptainPa Modou Jagne
Home stadiumIndependence Stadium
FIFA codeGAM
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current173 Decrease 2 (25 October 2018)[1]
Highest65 (June 2009)
Lowest179 (March 2017)
Elo ranking
Current143 Decrease 2 (11 November 2018)[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)

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.

History[edit]

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]

Home stadium[edit]

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]

Match record[edit]

Gambia Football Achievements[edit]

Amilcar Cabral Cup :
  • 3 Times Runners-up

World Cup record[edit]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to
Argentina 1978
Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1982 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 1
Mexico 1986 2 1 0 1 3 6
Italy 1990 Did not enter Did not enter
United States 1994 Withdrew Withdrew
France 1998 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 2 5
South Korea Japan 2002 2 0 0 2 0 3
Germany 2006 2 1 0 1 2 3
South Africa 2010 6 2 3 1 6 3
Brazil 2014 6 1 1 4 4 11
Russia 2018 2 0 1 1 2 3
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 0/21 24 6 6 12 21 35

Africa Cup of Nations record[edit]

  • 1957 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

2018 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

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 Goal 78' Report (FIFA)
Report (CAF)
Stephanus Goal 61'
Referee: Ousmane Karembe (Mali)

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

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

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

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 The Gambia Tom Saintfiet
Assistant Coach The Gambia Mattar M'Boge
Goalkeeping Coach The Gambia Alhagie Marong
Team Doctor The Gambia Kalifa Manneh
Physiotherapist The Gambia Pa Matarr Ndow
Equipment Manager The Gambia Mustapha Kassama

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for a series of friendlies matches on 23 March 2018 against Central African Republic.[9]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Modou Jobe (1988-10-27) October 27, 1988 (age 30) 7 0 Nigeria El-Kanemi Warriors
18 1GK Baboucarr Gaye (1998-02-24) February 24, 1998 (age 20) 0 0 Germany Arminia Bielefeld
1GK Alagie Nyabally (1991-11-15) November 15, 1991 (age 26) 5 0 The Gambia Gambia Ports Authority FC
2DF Simon Richter (1985-01-16) January 16, 1985 (age 33) 1 0 Denmark Brønshøj
4 3MF Dawda Ngum (1990-09-02) September 2, 1990 (age 28) 2 0 Denmark Brønshøj Boldklub
3 2DF Bubacarr Sanneh (1994-11-14) November 14, 1994 (age 23) 7 0 Belgium Anderlecht
2DF Omar Colley (Captain) (1992-10-24) October 24, 1992 (age 26) 10 0 Italy Sampdoria
12 2DF Mamadou Danso (1983-04-27) April 27, 1983 (age 35) 11 1 Malaysia Kelantan FA
2DF Gregory Sambou (1994-10-25) October 25, 1994 (age 24) 6 0 The Gambia Gambia Ports Authority FC
9 2DF Pa Modou Jagne (1989-12-26) December 26, 1989 (age 28) 24 1 Switzerland FC Zürich
6 3MF Sulayman Marreh (1996-01-15) January 15, 1996 (age 22) 11 0 Belgium Eupen
3MF Alasana Manneh (1998-08-04) August 4, 1998 (age 20) 0 0 Bulgaria Etar
5 3MF Tijan Jaiteh (1988-12-31) December 31, 1988 (age 29) 15 1 Qatar Al-Markhiya S.C.
3MF Hamza Barry (1994-10-15) October 15, 1994 (age 24) 11 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
8 3MF Ebou Adams (1996-01-15) January 15, 1996 (age 22) 1 0 England Ebbsfleet United
19 3MF Mustapha Carayol (1988-09-04) September 4, 1988 (age 30) 4 2 Cyprus Apollon Limassol
8 3MF Ebrima Colley (2000-02-01) February 1, 2000 (age 18) 0 0 Italy Atalanta
15 3MF Ebrima Sohna (1988-12-14) December 14, 1988 (age 29) 18 1 Azerbaijan Keşla
4FW Modou Barrow (1992-10-03) October 3, 1992 (age 26) 7 0 England Reading
7 4FW Lamin Jallow (1995-12-18) December 18, 1995 (age 22) 4 0 Italy Salernitana
17 4FW Ablie Jallow (1998-11-14) November 14, 1998 (age 19) 0 0 France Metz
11 4FW Assan Ceesay (1994-03-17) March 17, 1994 (age 24) 5 1 Switzerland FC Zurich
13 4FW Musa Barrow (1998-11-14) 14 November 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Atalanta

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for Gambia in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Amando Aust (1990-04-23) April 23, 1990 (age 28) 1 0 Germany Dassendorf vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
MF Raymond Mendy (1996-07-01) July 1, 1996 (age 22) 0 0 Tunisia CS Sfaxien vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
MF Dawda Ceesay (1993-01-25) January 25, 1993 (age 25) 0 0 India Churchill Brothers vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
FW Bubacarr Trawally (1994-11-10) November 10, 1994 (age 24) 4 0 China Yanbian Funde vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
FW Muhammed Badamosi (1998-12-27) December 27, 1998 (age 19) 0 0 Morocco FUS Rabat vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
FW Yusupha Njie (1994-01-03) January 3, 1994 (age 24) 0 0 Portugal Boavista vs.  Morocco on 5 November 2017
  • RET = Retired from international football.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  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.
  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. 2018-07-18. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  9. ^ "Gambia call-up squad for CAR friendly". gambiasports.com.

External links[edit]

  • GFF Official federation website