Gambia national football team facts for kids
|Association||Gambia Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||Tom Saintfiet|
|Most caps||Pa Modou Jagne (42)|
|Top scorer||Assan Ceesay (13)|
|Home stadium||Independence Stadium|
|Current||166 (7 February 2019)|
|Highest||65 (June 2009)|
|Lowest||179 (March 2017)|
|Current||135 3 (3 March 2019)|
|Highest||93 (January 1984)|
|Lowest||145 (22 November 1993)|
| British Gambia 2–1 Sierra Leone
(Gambia; 9 February 1953)
| Gambia 6–0 Lesotho
(Bakau, Gambia; 13 October 2002)
| Guinea 8–0 Gambia
(Guinea; 14 May 1972)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2021)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals (2021)|
The Gambia national football team represents The Gambia in men's international football and is controlled by the Gambia Football Federation. Until 1965, the team and the country were known as British Gambia. The team has never qualified for the World Cup. In 2021, Gambia qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals for the first time in history. The team represents both FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Under the name British Gambia, the team played their first ever game on 9 February 1953 against Sierra Leone, winning 2–1 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 of that same year, 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.
On 12 October 2002, the team got their biggest ever victory in international competition, a 6–0 victory against Lesotho.
In May 2014, the Gambia was banned from all CAF competitions for two years after deliberately falsifying players' ages.
The nation's fortunes improved in qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Although they failed to qualify, they took it to the final round of games, including drawing twice with African giants Algeria.
On 13 November, in their first Group D match of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Gambia defeated Angola 1–3 in Luanda. This was the Scorpions' first away win in an AFCON or FIFA World Cup qualifier ever, at their 40th attempt. An impressive campaign saw them qualify for their first ever major tournament that year. As the lowest-ranked team in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the Gambia defied the odds by defeating favourites Tunisia in the group stage, finishing unbeaten in 2nd place in the group. A further win against Guinea in the Round of 16 saw them reach the quarter-finals at their first attempt, eventually going out to tournament hosts Cameroon.
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.
Recent schedule and results
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
Win Draw Loss
|Friendly 1 January||Algeria||Cancelled||Gambia||Qatar|
|2021 AFCON 12 January||Mauritania||0–1||Gambia||Limbe, Cameroon|
|17:45||https://www.cafonline.com/total-africa-cup-of-nations/matches/2021/2243281/match-report||Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria)
|2021 AFCON 16 January||Gambia||1–1||Mali||Limbe, Cameroon|
||Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Samir Guezzaz (Morocco)
|2021 AFCON 20 January||Gambia||1–0||Tunisia||Limbe, Cameroon|
|20:00||https://www.cafonline.com/total-africa-cup-of-nations/matches/2021/2243284/match-report||Stadium: Limbe Stadium
Referee: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico)
|AFCON Round of 16 24 January||Guinea||0–1||Gambia||Bafoussam, Cameroon|
|17:00||https://www.cafonline.com/total-africa-cup-of-nations/matches/2021/2243289/match-report||Mu. Barrow 71'||Stadium: Kouekong Stadium
Referee: Amin Omar (Egypt)
|AFCON Quarter Finals 29 January||Gambia||0–2||Cameroon||Douala, Cameroon|
|17:00||https://www.cafonline.com/total-africa-cup-of-nations/matches/2021/2243295/match-report||Stadium: Japoma Stadium
Referee: Pacifique Ndabihawenimana (Burundi)
|2023 AFCON preliminary round 23 March||Chad||0–1||Gambia||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
|17:00 UTC+1||Stadium: Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium
|2023 AFCON preliminary round 29 March||Gambia||2–2
||Stadium: Stade Adrar
|Friendly 29 May||United Arab Emirates||1–1||Gambia||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
||https://globalsportsarchive.com/match/soccer/2022-05-29/united-arab-emirates-vs-gambia/2689285/||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium
Referee: Omar Al-Yaqoubi (Oman)
|2023 AFCON qualification 4 June||Gambia||1–0||South Sudan||Thiès, Senegal|
|16:00 UTC±0||A. Jallow 45+4'||https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/06/04/africa/africa-cup-of-nations-qualification/gambia/south-sudan/3783033/||Stadium: Stade Lat-Dior
Referee: Jean Ouattara (Burkina Faso)
|2023 AFCON qualification 8 June||Congo||1–0||Gambia||Brazzaville, Congo|
|17:00 UTC+1||https://int.soccerway.com/matches/2022/06/08/africa/africa-cup-of-nations-qualification/congo/gambia/3783034/||Stadium: Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat
Referee: André Kolissala (Central African Republic)
|Friendly 20 November||Guinea-Bissau||0–0||Gambia|
|2023 AFCON qualification March||South Sudan||v||Gambia|
|2023 AFCON qualification March||Gambia||v||Congo|
|2023 AFCON qualification September||Mali||v||Gambia|
|2023 AFCON qualification September||Gambia||v||Mali|
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.
- The following players were called up for the friendly matches.
- Match dates: 17 and 20 November 2022
- Opposition: Congo DR and Liberia
- Caps and goals correct as of: 8 June 2022, after the match against Congo.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|GK||Baboucarr Gaye||24 February 1998||13||0||SV Rödinghausen|
|GK||Ebrima Jarju||16 March 1998||0||0||Paide Linnameeskond|
|GK||Modou Jobe||27 October 1988||29||0||Black Leopards|
|DF||Omar Colley||24 October 1992||41||0||Sampdoria|
|DF||James Gomez||14 November 2001||12||1||Horsens|
|DF||Maudo Jarjué||30 September 1997||2||0||Elfsborg|
|DF||Ismaila Jome||4 November 1994||0||0||Portland Timbers|
|DF||Muhammed Sanneh||19 February 2000||6||0||Baník Ostrava|
|DF||Noah Sonko Sundberg||6 June 1996||11||0||Levski Sofia|
|MF||Hamza Barry||3 May 1994||17||0||Vejle|
|MF||Sulayman Bojang||3 September 1997||8||0||Skeid|
|MF||Jesper Ceesay||20 October 2001||0||0||AIK|
|MF||Sulayman Marreh||15 January 1996||32||1||Gent|
|MF||Sainey Njie||30 August 2001||3||0||Zemplín Michalovce|
|MF||Saikou Touray||6 June 2000||0||0||Grenoble|
|FW||Muhammed Badamosi||27 December 1998||15||1||Čukarički|
|FW||Musa Barrow||14 November 1998||28||5||Bologna|
|FW||Assan Ceesay||17 March 1994||32||13||Lecce|
|FW||Alieu Fadera||3 November 2001||0||0||Zulte Waregem|
|FW||Ablie Jallow||14 November 1998||24||6||Metz|
|FW||Lamin Jallow||22 July 1994||19||1||Adanaspor|
|FW||Yankuba Minteh||22 July 2004||0||0||OB|
|FW||Abdoulie Sanyang||8 May 1999||8||0||Grenoble|
Recent call ups
The following players have also been called up to the Gambia squad within the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|GK||Lamin Sarr||11 March 2001||0||0||Umeå||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|GK||Sheikh Sibi||21 February 1998||3||0||Virtus Verona||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|DF||Bubacarr Sanneh||14 November 1994||35||1||Free agent||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|DF||Ibou Touray||24 December 1994||16||0||Salford City||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|DF||Pa Modou Jagne (captain)||26 December 1989||43||2||Dietikon||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|DF||Mohammed Mbye||18 June 1989||15||0||Hässleholm||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|DF||Saidy Janko||22 October 1995||6||0||VfL Bochum||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|MF||Yusupha Bobb||22 June 1996||19||0||Free agent||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|MF||Ebrima Darboe||6 June 2001||13||0||Roma||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|MF||Matarr Ceesay||19 January 2000||2||0||AmaZulu||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|MF||Dawda Ngum||2 September 1990||19||0||Ariana||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|MF||Ebrima Sohna||14 December 1988||38||3||Fortune||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|MF||Ebou Adams||15 January 1996||11||0||Cardiff City||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|FW||Modou Barrow||13 October 1992||18||2||Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|FW||Bubacarr Jobe||21 November 1994||17||3||Oskarshamns||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|FW||Dembo Darboe||17 August 1998||5||0||Al-Nasr||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|FW||Kalifa Manneh||2 September 1998||2||0||Perugia||v. Congo, 8 June 2022|
|FW||Ebrima Colley||1 February 2000||16||0||Fatih Karagümrük||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|FW||Bubacarr Trawally||10 November 1994||16||1||Hammarby||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
|FW||Yusupha Njie||3 January 1994||6||0||Boavista||v. Chad; 29 March, 2022|
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.
- Players in bold are still active with Gambia.
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Part of United Kingdom||Part of United Kingdom|
|1970||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1982||Did not qualify||2||0||1||1||2||1|
|1990||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1998||Did not qualify||2||1||0||1||2||5|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
Africa Cup of Nations
|Africa Cup of Nations record|
|1957 to 1963||Part of United Kingdom|
|1965||Not affiliated to CAF|
|1968 to 1974||Did not enter|
|1976||Did not qualify|
|1978||Did not enter|
|1980 to 1988||Did not qualify|
|1992||Did not qualify|
|1994||Did not enter|
|1996||Withdrew during qualifying|
|1998||Banned for withdrawing in 1996|
|2002 to 2013||Did not qualify|
|2017||Did not qualify|
- Amilcar Cabral Cup :
- Runners-up (3)
In Spanish: Selección de fútbol de Gambia para niños
Gambia national football team Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.