Gambia women's national football team

The Gambia Women's National Football Team represents the Gambia in international football competition. As of December 2019, the team has only competed in one major international competition, attempting to qualify for the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations. 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 Gambia
Nickname(s)The Scorpions
AssociationGambia Football Association
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationWAFU (West Africa)
Head coachBubacarr Jallow
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
CurrentNR (27 September 2019)[1]
First international
 Morocco 2–1 Gambia 
(Rabat, Morocco; 4 April 2018 ) [2]
Biggest win
 Gambia 2–1 Burkina Faso 
(Bakau, Gambia; 10 April 2018)
Biggest defeat
 Nigeria 6–0 Gambia 
(Lagos, Nigeria; 1 June 2018)

The team

In 1985, few countries had women's national football teams.[3] While the sport gained popularity worldwide in later decades, the Gambia's national team only played its first game in 2007.[4][5] That game was not FIFA-recognized.

The Gambian Senior National Team's first appearance at a major event occurred in April of 2018 when they lost a 1-2 result at Burkina Faso in the opening round of qualifying for the 2018 Africa Cup of Nations. In the second leg of the fixture, Gambia produced a 2-1 victory of their own. As the results of both legs were identical, a penalty shoot-out was required to determine which squad would advance. Gambia converted all five of its penalty kicks, and advanced to the second round of qualifying.[6] Gambia drew the defending Cup of Nations Champions Nigeria as their second round opponent. They failed to score against the Super Falcons, and were eliminated from the tournament with a 0-7 aggregate line.[7]

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. Gambia fielded an under-17 team of 24 players, narrowed from an initial pool of 49 young women.[8][9] Two girls from the SOS Children’s Village Bakoteh were chosen as a members of the team.[8] Gambia first played Sierra Leone in a pair of qualifying matches for the tournament. Gambia won the first match 3-0 in Banjul, Gambia's capital.[9] The return match was delayed for 24 hours and played in Makeni.[9] Gambia beat Sierra Leone 4-3 to qualify for the final round.[10] 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.[11]

Gambia also has an under-19 team that was to play in the African Women's U-19 Championship in 2002. That Gambian squad's first match was to be against Morocco, but the team withdrew from the competition.[12]

Background and development

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.[13][14][15][16] Funding is another issue impacting the game in Africa, where most financial assistance comes from FIFA and not national football associations.[17] Another challenge is the retention of football players. Many women footballers leave the continent to seek greater opportunity in Europe or the United States.[17]

Gambia's national football association was founded in 1952, and became affiliated with FIFA in 1968.[18][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.[4] Competition was active on both the national and scholastic levels by 2009.[4] 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]

Death of Fatim Jawara

In September 2016, Fatim Jawara, a player of the national team, left her homeland Serrekunda in Gambia and crossed the Sahara Desert to Libya.[21] In November 2016, she travelled with others on two boats across the Mediterranean Sea, heading towards the Lampedusa island of Italy.[22] Due to a severe storm, their boats sunk and Jawara drowned. She was 19 years old.[23] Her absence was first noted when the national team was due to play Casa Sports F.C. from Senegal as part of a festival to celebrate women's football. Jawara sought to smuggle herself into Europe, attempting crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat to Italy.[23] She travelled first to Libya, before boarding the boat.[21] Several days after the attempt, her family was contacted by the agent to inform them that her boat had capsized, and she had drowned.[23]

Reactions to her death

Competitive Records

World Cup record

World Cup Finals
Year Result GP W D* L GF GA GD
1991Did Not Enter
2019Did Not Qualify
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Olympic Games

Football at the Summer Olympics
Year Result GP W D* L GF GA GD
1996Did Not Enter

Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations
Year Result Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1991Did Not Enter
2018Did Not Qualify
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Current Squad

Squad called in for 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations qualification

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Club
1GK Aminata Gaye (1996-03-03) 3 March 1996
1GK Mariama Ceesay (1998-01-22) 22 January 1998
2DF Clarra Gomez (1997-06-06) 6 June 1997
2DF Mariama Bojang (1997-10-03) 3 October 1997
2DF Amie Jarju (1996-09-15) 15 September 1996
2DF Binta Colley (1997-10-11) 11 October 1997
2DF Ruggy Joof (2001-04-13) 13 April 2001
2DF Metta Sanneh (1993-02-10) 10 February 1993
3MF Mamie Sylva (1992-04-25) 25 April 1992
3MF Penda Bah (1998-08-17) 17 August 1998
3MF Awa Tamba (1998-08-29) 29 August 1998
3MF Awa Jawo (1997-02-21) 21 February 1997
3MF Mama Saidy (1996-04-04) 4 April 1996
3MF Mam Drammeh (2001-04-10) 10 April 2001
3MF Ajara Samba (1998-06-26) 26 June 1998
3MF Fanta Jarju (2003-04-11) 11 April 2003
4FW Adama Tamba (1998-08-29) 29 August 1998
4FW Isatou Jallow (1997-10-10) 10 October 1997 F.C. Ramat HaSharon
4FW Aminata Camara (2002-11-21) 21 November 2002

See also


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking". FIFA. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  3. Chrös McDougall (1 January 2012). Soccer. ABDO. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-61783-146-1. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  4. "Goal! Football: Gambie" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 3. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  5. 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. 2018 CAF Cup of Nations Qualifying First Round Fixtures
  7. 2018 CAF Cup of Nations Qualifying Second Round Fixtures
  8. "Goal for the girls!". SOS Children's Villages International. 21 January 2012. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  9. "Sierra Leone host Gambia in FIFA Women's U-17 qualifying match in Makeni". Sierra Leone Football. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  10. "Gambia beat Tunisia on the 1st lega of the Final Round". Gambia: Gambia Football Association. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  11. "Gambian Girls Make Heroic Return". Gambia: Gambia Football Association. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  12. "African Women U-19 Championship 2002". Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  13. 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.
  14. Richard Giulianotti; David McArdle (2006). Sport, Civil Liberties and Human Rights. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7146-5344-0. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. FIFA (2006). "Women's Football Today" (PDF). Retrieved 17 April 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. "Goal! Football: Gambie" (PDF). FIFA. 21 April 2009. p. 1. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  21. France-Presse, Agense (2 November 2016). "Gambian national goalkeeper dies during Mediterranean crossing". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  22. Jason Burke (2016-11-03). "Gambia goalkeeper who died in Mediterranean wanted to play in Europe". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  23. "Gambia goalkeeper dies trying to reach Europe". BBC News. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
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