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Gambia women's national football team

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

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]


  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" (PDF). 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" (PDF). 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". 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" (PDF). Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Goal! Football: Gambie" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 16 April 2012.