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.
|Association||Gambia Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFU (West Africa)|
|Head coach||Bubacarr Jallow|
|Current||NR (27 September 2019)|
(Rabat, Morocco; 4 April 2018 )
(Bakau, Gambia; 10 April 2018)
(Lagos, Nigeria; 1 June 2018)
In 1985, few countries had women's national football teams. While the sport gained popularity worldwide in later decades, the Gambia's national team only played its first game in 2007. 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. 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.
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. Two girls from the SOS Children’s Village Bakoteh were chosen as a members of the team. 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. The return match was delayed for 24 hours and played in Makeni. Gambia beat Sierra Leone 4-3 to qualify for the final round. 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.
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.
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. Funding is another issue impacting the game in Africa, where most financial assistance comes from FIFA and not national football associations. Another challenge is the retention of football players. Many women footballers leave the continent to seek greater opportunity in Europe or the United States.
Gambia's national football association was founded in 1952, and became affiliated with FIFA in 1968. Football is the most popular women's sport in the country, and was first played in an organized system in 1998. A national competition was launched in 2007, the same year FIFA started an education course on football for women. Competition was active on both the national and scholastic levels by 2009. 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.
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. In November 2016, she travelled with others on two boats across the Mediterranean Sea, heading towards the Lampedusa island of Italy. Due to a severe storm, their boats sunk and Jawara drowned. She was 19 years old. 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. She travelled first to Libya, before boarding the boat. Several days after the attempt, her family was contacted by the agent to inform them that her boat had capsized, and she had drowned.
World Cup record
|World Cup Finals|
|Did Not Enter|
|Did Not Qualify|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
|Football at the Summer Olympics|
|Did Not Enter|
Squad called in for 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations qualification
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Club|
|GK||Aminata Gaye||3 March 1996|
|GK||Mariama Ceesay||22 January 1998|
|DF||Clarra Gomez||6 June 1997|
|DF||Mariama Bojang||3 October 1997|
|DF||Amie Jarju||15 September 1996|
|DF||Binta Colley||11 October 1997|
|DF||Ruggy Joof||13 April 2001|
|DF||Metta Sanneh||10 February 1993|
|MF||Mamie Sylva||25 April 1992|
|MF||Penda Bah||17 August 1998|
|MF||Awa Tamba||29 August 1998|
|MF||Awa Jawo||21 February 1997|
|MF||Mama Saidy||4 April 1996|
|MF||Mam Drammeh||10 April 2001|
|MF||Ajara Samba||26 June 1998|
|MF||Fanta Jarju||11 April 2003|
|FW||Adama Tamba||29 August 1998|
|FW||Isatou Jallow||10 October 1997|
|FW||Aminata Camara||21 November 2002|
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