Niger national football team
|Association||Fédération Nigerienne de Football|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||François Zahoui|
|Home stadium||Stade Seyni Kountché|
|Current||128 (24 November 2016)|
|Highest||68 (November 1994)|
|Lowest||196 (August 2002)|
|Highest||103 (July 1991)|
|Lowest||146 (December 1980)|
| Niger 2–2 Chad
(Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; 25 December 1961)
| Niger 7–1 Mauritania
(Niamey, Niger; 12 October 1990)
| Congo 10–0 Niger
(Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; 27 December 1961)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2012)|
|Best result||Group stage, 2012 and 2013|
The Niger national football team, nicknamed the Menas, represents Niger in international association football through the Fédération Nigerienne de Football (FNFB), a member of Confederation of African Football (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 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in which Niger eliminated Somalia and Togo on the away goals rule, 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 a record by thrashing Mauritania 7–1 in continental qualifiers, the highest positive score margin for the Mena.
The Niger squad is also plagued by financial concerns, which have caused them to withdraw from international tournaments on more than one occasion. The Fédération Nigerienne de Football (FNFB) would have turned to fundraising to pay for their trip to the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola, had they qualified.
In June 2008, Romanian coach Dan Anghelescu took over as team manager from Hamey Amadou, who was dismissed. Anghelescu had been coaching in Africa since 1999, training teams from Algeria, Tunisia and Burkina Faso. On 19 December 2008, Anghelescu was dismissed after a disastrous six-month spell. Former Niger U-17 coach Frederic Costa was appointed the new head coach of the Niger national side. Harouna Doula Gabde, a former Nigerien international, succeeded them in 2009.
Despite a failed run for ACON 2010, Niger hosted and won the UEMOA Tournament in November 2010, and followed up with their first ever qualification for the African Nations Championship in February 2011.
After home wins—as well as 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 alongside co-hosts Gabon, Tunisia and Morocco. In their opening match, Niger lost 2–0 to Gabon, while 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. William N'Gounou, however, then made history by scoring Niger's first ever goal at the African Cup of Nations. A 1–1 draw looked likely, but Issam Jemâa's goal would eliminate Niger from the tournament. In the final match, Niger faced Morocco in a match featuring two sides already eliminated from the tournament. Younès Belhanda scored on an assist from Marouane Chamakh just 11 minutes from time to give Morocco a 1–0 victory.
Later in 2012, Niger repeated its success in African Nations Cup qualifiers by beating Guinea in a two-legged series to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Guinea won the first match 1–0, but Niger won 2–0 in the second leg. Goalscorers Mohamed Chikoto and Issoufou Boubacar had sent Niger to another African Cup of Nations tournament.
In their first match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Niger lost to Mali (1–0) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Mali captain Seydou Keita handed his nation the hard-fought victory five minutes before the end of the encounter. Niger then 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 quarter-finals 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.
World Cup record
Africa Cup of Nations record
Head-to-Head Records against other countries
- As of 23 May 2014
|Opponent||Games||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals For||Goals Against||Goal Differential|
|United Arab Emirates||1||0||0||1||0||4||−4|
- 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.
Recent results and forthcoming fixtures
|24 January 2013||Niger||0–0||DR Congo||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
Referee: Bouchaïb El Ahrach (Morocco)
|28 January 2013||Niger||0–3||Ghana||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
Referee: Badara Diatta (Senegal)
|9 October 2016 Friendly||United Arab Emirates||4–0||Niger||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|17:00 UTC+4:00||Salem Saleh 15' (20)
Hassan Ibrahim 55'
Mohammed Marzooq 84'
Referee: Abdulla Mohammed
Caps & goals as of 29 March 2016.
|#||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Kassaly Daouda||August 19, 1983||60||0||Nigelec|
|GK||Moussa Alzouma||September 30, 1982||7||0||GNN|
|GK||Issa Losseiny||April 5, 1992||0||0||AS FAN|
|DF||Koffi Dan Kowa||September 19, 1989||58||3||Dila Gori|
|DF||Mohamed Chikoto||February 28, 1989||47||2||ASM Oran|
|DF||Mohamed Soumaïla||October 30, 1994||34||0||Noisy-le-Sec|
|DF||Kourouma Fatoukouma||July 11, 1984||28||1||Musan Salama|
|DF||Amadou Kader||April 5, 1989||25||0||Minerva|
|DF||Abdoulaye Katkoré||March 26, 1993||21||0||AS FAN|
|DF||Mahamadou Souley||February 18, 1995||7||0||GNN|
|MF||Karim Lancina||March 20, 1987||52||1||Thaon|
|MF||Souleymane Sacko (captain)||August 1, 1987||37||3||GNN|
|MF||Ali Mohamed||August 7, 1995||24||0||Maccabi Netanya|
|MF||Amadou Wonkoye||May 19, 1994||12||1||Unattached|
|MF||Olivier Bonnes||February 7, 1990||12||0||Gwangju FC|
|MF||Hassane Djibó||June 6, 1992||0||0||Strand 08|
|FW||Moussa Maâzou||August 25, 1988||43||12||Randers|
|FW||Mahamane Cissé||December 27, 1993||21||4||Léopards|
|FW||Amadou Moutari||January 19, 1994||20||0||Anzhi|
|FW||Adebayor Zakari Adje||November 12, 1996||5||2|
List of coaches
- Heinz-Peter Überjahn (1981–1986)
- Tiemogo Soumaila (?-1992)
- David Nadjadoum (1992–?)
- Tiemogo Soumaïla (?-1998)
- Amadou Touré (1998–1999)
- Patrice Neveu (1999–2000)
- Jean-Yves Chay (2000)
- Harouna Doula Amadou (?-?)
- Yeo Martial (2002–2003)
- Bana Tchanile (2006–2007)
- Hamey Amadou (2007–2008)
- Dan Anghelescu (2008)
- Frederic Costa (2008–2009)
- Harouna Doula Gabde (2009–2012)
- Rolland Courbis (2012)
- Gernot Rohr (2012–2014)
- Cheick Omar Diabate (2014–2015)
- François Zahoui (2015–present)
- Orange 2012 Afcon qualifiers :130 Million FCFA for the Menas. 22/05/2011 StarAfrica sports.
- Menas to test Pharaohs form. Confederation of African Football. 10-09-2010
- Dama Gazelle Nanger dama. Sahara Conservation Fund, 2007, 2011.
- "Project MENA is dedicated to assisting MENA, the Niger national soccer team. The project aimed to raise enough money to send the team to compete for the 2010 African Cup in Angola.".
- "Announcement about Dan Anghelescu becoming the manager of Niger". (French)
- FACTBOX-Soccer-Factbox on African Nations Cup finalists Niger. 2012-01-18, Reuters.
- CHAN 2011 : Un Niger héroïque mais éliminé par le Soudan – Football/CHAN 2011 – RFI 2011-02-19
- "Niger in historic qualification despite Cairo loss". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Fixtures, results and tables for the qualifiers for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. BBC Sport.
- "Martial named Niger coach". BBC News. 26 November 2002.
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