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The history of Gambia National football team

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Gambia national football team
Gambia national football team. Photo/Sports Brief

Gambia National Football team

  • They have never qualified for the World Cup
  • They qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time
  • They represent both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football [CAF]

The Gambia national team was initially known as British Gambia and they played their first-ever game in 1953 against Sierra Leone, winning in a friendly match at home.

Ten years later, the team entered into a tournament known as L’Amitie in Senegal, a competition usually for French-speaking nations.

History of the National Team

Initially, the team was known as British Gambia and they played their first game in a friendly match against Sierra Leone which they hosted.

Ten years later, the team entered into a competition for French-speaking nations that is known as the L’Amitie tournament in Senegal. They were drawn into a group with France’s amateur team currently Burkina Faso and Gabon.

They lost their first match to the France amateurs. Gambia went on a draw with Burkina Faso and the next day, still on a draw with Gabon.  They did not advance to the next round.

Gambia national team

Gambia national team. Photo/Sky Sports

The next time Gambia played was five years later in Sierra Leone in a friendly match and lost. They played again three years later in the same venue losing to the host.

The following year, they travelled to Guinea losing in a friendly match. Still expectant, they returned to Guinea for their first African Games qualifier which they lost, next travelled to Canada for Summer Olympics and lost in the first leg.

In the same year, Gambia entered their first qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations to get to the following year’s finals in Ethiopia, went on a draw with Morocco and lost the first leg.

After the qualification for the campaign finals, Gambia played at the European side losing to the first-ever Denmark. Their first-ever victory in international competition came in a match against Lesotho winning 6-0 in 2002.

Twelve years later, they were banned from playing in all CAF  competitions for two years for giving false information on the age of their players.

Their performance improved and they qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Though they didn’t qualify, they made it to the final round of games including two draws with Algeria.

In the Africa Cup of Nations qualification of 2021, Gambia beat Angola in Luanda and this was their first win in an Afcon or FIFA World Cup qualifier ever bringing their 40th attempt and they qualified for their first major tournament that year.

In the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, they ranked the lowest, however, they defeated Tunisia in the group stage finishing second in the group. They also won against Guinea in the 16th round which saw them to the quarter-finals in their first attempt heading to Cameroon.

Independence Stadium

This is Gambia’s major stadium with a capacity of hosting thirty thousand people. The stadium is used for football matches, music concerts, political events, trade fairs and national celebrations.

Gambia national team players

The national team consists of energetic and focused personnel who are ready to see their effort bear fruits for them and the country at large. Below is a list of some of the players;

1. Musa Barrow who plays as a forward

2. Omar Colley is a defender

3.Yankuba Minteh is a forward

4. Ali Sowe- Forward

5. Ebrima Darboe- Midfielder

6. Ebroma Colley-Midfielder

7. Assan Ceesay-Forward

8. Jesper Ceesay-Midfielder

9.Adama Bojang-Forward

10. Modou Barrow-Midfielder

11. Ablie Jallow-Midfielder

12. Mohammed Badamosi-Forward

13. Bubacarr Trawally-Forward

14. Baboucarr Gaye-Goalkeeper

15.Bubacarr Sanneh-Defender

16. Lamin Jallow

17.Dembo Darboe-Forward

18.Yusupha Njie-Forward

19. Sulayman Marr-Midfielder

20. Ebou Adams-Midfielder

21. Alieu Fadera-Forward

My passion is capturing the untold journey of global athletes from humble beginnings to superstars in their own right.

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