Niger national football team

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Niger
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Ménas
Association Fédération Nigerienne de Football
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Sub-confederation WAFU (West Africa)
Head coach François Zahoui
Captain Moussa Maâzou
Home stadium Stade Seyni Kountché
FIFA code NIG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 128 Steady (24 November 2016)
Highest 68 (November 1994)
Lowest 196 (August 2002)
Elo ranking
Current 121
Highest 103 (July 1991)
Lowest 146 (December 1980)
First international
 Niger 2–2 Chad 
(Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; 25 December 1961)
Biggest win
 Niger 7–1 Mauritania 
(Niamey, Niger; 12 October 1990)
Biggest defeat
 Congo 10–0 Niger 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,[1][2] 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[3] The Dama appears on their badge in the colors of the national flag.

History[edit]

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.

In the 2004 African Nations Cup qualifiers, Niger won all their home games (including a win over Guinea) to finish on nine points, just three 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 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.[4]

In June 2008, Romanian coach Dan Anghelescu[5] 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.[6]

On 10 October 2010, Niger earned a shock 1–0 win over Egypt at home in the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualification.

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.[7]

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.[8][9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13][14]

Competition records[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

Head-to-Head Records against other countries[edit]

As of 23 May 2014
Opponent Games Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential
 Algeria 5 1 0 4 1 14 −13
 Angola 2 0 0 2 2 5 −3
 Benin 13 3 4 6 16 20 −4
 Botswana 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2
 Burkina Faso* 15 3 5 7 13 22 −9
 Cameroon 3 0 1 2 0 4 −4
 Chad 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Congo 4 0 1 3 3 10 −7
 DR Congo 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 Ivory Coast 12 0 2 10 9 28 −19
 Egypt 4 1 0 3 1 7 −6
 Equatorial Guinea 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Ethiopia 3 1 0 2 3 4 −1
 Gabon 6 1 0 5 5 13 −8
 Gambia 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Ghana 11 0 1 10 4 38 −34
 Guinea 7 3 0 4 8 11 −3
 Lesotho 2 1 0 1 3 3 0
 Liberia 7 3 1 3 7 10 −3
 Libya* 4 0 3 1 4 8 −4
 Mali 8 1 2 5 4 10 −6
 Mauritania 5 3 2 0 10 3 +7
 Morocco 6 1 0 5 2 15 −13
 Namibia 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Nigeria 3 0 0 3 1 7 −6
 Senegal 5 1 1 3 3 6 −3
 Sierra Leone 6 3 0 3 11 15 −4
 Somalia 2 0 2 0 1 1 0
 South Africa 2 1 0 1 2 3 −1
 Togo 9 3 3 3 13 14 −1
 Tunisia 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1
 Uganda 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1
 Ukraine 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1
 United Arab Emirates 1 0 0 1 0 4 −4
34 Countries 159 34 34 91 141 290 −149
  • 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[edit]

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Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Senegal in March 2016.

Caps & goals as of 29 March 2016.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Kassaly Daouda (1983-08-19) August 19, 1983 (age 33) 60 0 Niger Nigelec
1GK Moussa Alzouma (1982-09-30) September 30, 1982 (age 34) 7 0 Niger GNN
1GK Issa Losseiny (1992-04-05) April 5, 1992 (age 24) 0 0 Niger AS FAN

2DF Koffi Dan Kowa (1989-09-19) September 19, 1989 (age 27) 58 3 Georgia (country) Dila Gori
2DF Mohamed Chikoto (1989-02-28) February 28, 1989 (age 27) 47 2 Algeria ASM Oran
2DF Mohamed Soumaïla (1994-10-30) October 30, 1994 (age 22) 34 0 France Noisy-le-Sec
2DF Kourouma Fatoukouma (1984-07-11) July 11, 1984 (age 32) 28 1 Finland Musan Salama
2DF Amadou Kader (1989-04-05) April 5, 1989 (age 27) 25 0 India Minerva
2DF Abdoulaye Katkoré (1993-03-26) March 26, 1993 (age 23) 21 0 Niger AS FAN
2DF Mahamadou Souley (1995-02-18) February 18, 1995 (age 21) 7 0 Niger GNN

3MF Karim Lancina (1987-03-20) March 20, 1987 (age 29) 52 1 France Thaon
3MF Souleymane Sacko (captain) (1987-08-01) August 1, 1987 (age 29) 37 3 Niger GNN
3MF Ali Mohamed (1995-08-07) August 7, 1995 (age 21) 24 0 Israel Maccabi Netanya
3MF Amadou Wonkoye (1994-05-19) May 19, 1994 (age 22) 12 1 Unattached
3MF Olivier Bonnes (1990-02-07) February 7, 1990 (age 26) 12 0 South Korea Gwangju FC
3MF Hassane Djibó (1992-06-06) June 6, 1992 (age 24) 0 0 Germany Strand 08

4FW Moussa Maâzou (1988-08-25) August 25, 1988 (age 28) 43 12 Denmark Randers
4FW Mahamane Cissé (1993-12-27) December 27, 1993 (age 22) 21 4 Republic of the Congo Léopards
4FW Amadou Moutari (1994-01-19) January 19, 1994 (age 22) 20 0 Russia Anzhi
4FW Adebayor Zakari Adje (1996-11-12) November 12, 1996 (age 20) 5 2 Niger

List of coaches[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]