Gabon national football team


The Gabon national football team (French: Équipe de football du Gabon) represents Gabon in men's international football, The team's nickname is The Brazilians and it is governed by the Gabonese Football Federation, They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, but have qualified eight times (as of 2021) for the Africa Cup of Nations. The team represents both FIFA and Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Gabon
Nickname(s)Les Panthères
(The Panthers)
Les Brésiliens
(The Brazilians)
AssociationGabonese Football Federation
ConfederationCAF (Africa)
Sub-confederationUNIFFAC (Central Africa)
Head coachPatrice Neveu
CaptainPierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Most capsDidier Ovono (112)
Top scorerPierre-Emerick Aubameyang (27)
Home stadiumStade Omar Bongo
FIFA codeGAB
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 88 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest30 (July 2009)
Lowest125 (April–May 2003)
First international
 Upper Volta 5–4 Gabon 
(Madagascar; 13 April 1960)
Biggest win
 Gabon 7–0 Benin 
(Libreville, Gabon; 2 April 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Cameroon 6–0 Gabon 
(Abidjan, Ivory Coast; 26 December 1961)
 Morocco 6–0 Gabon 
(Rabat, Morocco; 15 November 2006)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances8 (first in 1994)
Best resultQuarter-finals, 1996 and 2012

History


1960s

Gabon made their debut on 13 April 1960 by entering the first Friendship Games (Jeux de L'Amitié) tournament, created for French-speaking African countries (a precursor to the modern African Games), held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. In the First Round they were drawn against Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), who were also making their debut, and lost 5–4, despite leading 3–2 at half-time.[2][3][4] They did not play another match for over a year and a half, until the next time the tournament was staged, in December 1961 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.[2] They were drawn in Pool 3 alongside Cameroon and Senegal. Gabon began the tournament with a 3–2 defeat to Senegal on Christmas Day, before being thrashed 6–0 by Cameroon on Boxing Day, finishing bottom of their group.[5] A few months after the tournament, the Gabonese Football Federation (Federation Gabonaise de Football) was formed to officially oversee the development of the national team and the domestic game.[6] The new association would not have to wait long for their first win, as in their very next match on 14 July 1962 they defeated the Congo 3–1 in their first match on home soil. They played 2 more matches in 1962, a 1–1 home draw with Cameroon on 20 August, a vast improvement over their previous meeting, and a 3–1 away defeat to the Congo on 16 September, before entering the third and final Friendship Games held in April 1963 in Dakar, Senegal.[2] They were drawn in Group C, along with British Gambia, the France amateur team, and Upper Volta. They opened on 12 April with a strong 4–0 win over Upper Volta, but were comfortably beaten 3–0 by the French amateurs 2 days later. They drew their final game 2–2 with British Gambia on 16 April and finished 2nd in the group, a marked improvement over their previous 2 appearances at the tournament; however only the group winners progressed and therefore Gabon were eliminated.[7] A few months later, Gabon entered qualification for the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England. However, on 8 October 1964 they withdrew from the competition, along with all the other African entrants, in protest at FIFA's decision to only award 1 finals place to all of Africa, Asia and Oceania.[8][9]

As a result of this boycott, Gabon did not play another match for over two years until August 1965, when they hosted a friendly double-header against Nigeria, drawing 2–2 on 28 August and losing 4–1 the next day. At the 35th FIFA Congress held in London, England on 6 July 1966, Gabon were officially admitted as full members of FIFA.[6] They played their next match on 2 December 1966 when they suffered a 4–3 defeat against the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before playing them again on 4 January 1967 at home, this time winning 1–0. They played one more friendly, a 3–0 home defeat to the Ivory Coast on 28 March, before entering qualification for the 1968 Olympic football tournament, held in Mexico.[10] In the First Round, they were drawn against Guinea with whom they drew the first leg 0–0 at home on 18 June, before being routed in the second leg 6–1, on 9 July.[11] In 1967, they also became full members of CAF.[12] Following on from the Olympic qualifiers, Gabon did not play another match for over two years until they travelled to Dahomey (now Benin) on 24 August 1969 to play a friendly, which they lost 1–0.[10]

1970s

Gabon then did not play for over a year, before entering qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time. Their attempt to qualify for the 1972 tournament held in Cameroon fell at the first hurdle however, as they were drawn against Ivory Coast in the First Round. They lost the first leg at home 2–1 on 8 November 1970, and were defeated 1–0 away two weeks later.[10] Gabon then entered qualification for the 1972 Olympic football tournament held in West Germany. In the First Round they were drawn against Cameroon. Having lost the first leg 3–2 in Libreville on 30 May 1971, Gabon forfeited the tie as they did not travel to Yaoundé to contest the return leg.[13] Following this ignominious exit, Gabon entered qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup held in West Germany, and were due to play Cameroon in the First Round the Summer of 1972, however they withdrew before the matches could be played.[14] As a result of this withdrawal, they did not play another match for over a year until they entered the football tournament at the 1972 Central African Cup (a precursor to the Central African Games) held in Brazzaville, Congo. The 5-team round robin tournament included, alongside Gabon; Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Congo, and Chad. They played their first match on 16 July against the Congo, losing 3–0. Two days later they were defeated 3–1 by the Central African Republic and on 20 July they were soundly beaten by Cameroon, 4–0. However they salvaged some pride by beating Chad 1–0 in their final match on 22 July to avoid the bottom spot. Furthermore, this tournament doubled up as a qualification group for the 1973 All-Africa Games football tournament, and as Gabon did not win the group, they failed to qualify.[15] A year later they entered qualification for the 1974 African Cup of Nations held in Egypt, and were due to play the Central African Republic in the summer of 1973, however they once again withdrew before a ball was kicked.[16]

As a result, Gabon did not play a single match for almost 4 years until they thrashed São Tomé and Príncipe 6–1 at home in a friendly in May 1976, which was São Tomé and Príncipe's first international match.[17] A few weeks later Gabon hosted the inaugural Central African Games. In the football tournament, they were drawn into Group B alongside Burundi, Cameroon and Rwanda. They played their opening match on 28 June, registering a convincing 4–1 win over Burundi. Then, on 1 July they played out a 1–1 draw against Zaire who had travelled to Gabon to play each team in Group B in a friendly capacity, and had not entered the competition proper. On 5 July Gabon gained another impressive victory, beating Rwanda 3–0. In their final group game on 7 July they held neighbours Cameroon to creditable 0–0 draw, thus securing 2nd place (having only missed out on the top spot via goal difference) and qualification for the Semi-Finals. On 9 July they faced Group A winners the Congo, and were narrowly beaten 1–0. However, two days later they managed to clinch 3rd place with a 3–1 victory of the Central African Republic, to put the seal on an impressive performance in their own tournament.[18] A year later, Gabon entered qualification for the 1978 African Cup of Nations held in Ghana. After being given a bye in the First Round, they were drawn against the Congo in the Second. They lost the first leg away 3–2 on 17 July 1977, and drew the second at home 3–3 on 31 July, losing 6–5 on aggregate.[19] Later that year, they entered a qualification tournament for the football competition at the 1978 All-Africa Games held in Algiers, Algeria. The qualification tournament for their zone, which was held in Cameroon, consisted of 2 groups, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the Semi-Finals. In Gabon's group (B) were Burundi, the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. They beat Equatorial Guinea 2–0 in their opening match on Christmas Eve, defeated the Congo 1–0 on Boxing Day and beat Burundi 2-0 two days later. With 3 wins out of 3, they topped their group and faced Group A runners-up Chad in the Semi-Finals to whom they lost 3–1 on New Year's Eve, and therefore failed to qualify, as only the tournament winner went to the finals.[20] A few months later in February 1978, they hosted a friendly against Nigeria, which they lost 1–0. In January 1979 they registered a 2–2 away draw against Rwanda, before defeating Ivory Coast 2–1 at home in April.

2010s

In the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon upset Cameroon 1–0 and had a good chance of progressing to the quarter-finals after a scoreless draw against Tunisia. However, Gabon lost 2–1 to Zambia as it finished in its group with a three-way tie with Zambia and Cameroon. Gabon only scored twice in the group stage and were eliminated on the goals scored tiebreaker. In 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon co-hosted the tournament as it won their group matches: 2–0 against Niger, 3–2 against Morocco, and 1–0 against Tunisia. The second match saw Gabon qualify for its first quarter-final since 1996 in the most dramatic circumstances. Gabon had come back to lead 2–1 only for Morocco to tie the match in early stoppage time. However, on the final play of the game, Gabon scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time, from a direct free kick. Eventually, Gabon lost 5–4 in penalties (1–1 a.e.t) in the quarterfinal against Mali, after a penalty missed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had scored three goals in the tournament.

Gabon began its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in the second round in Group E as it was drawn with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Congo. Despite opening its campaign with a scoreless draw against Niger, Gabon lost 3–0 due to having fielded ineligible player Charly Moussono. After four qualifiers, Gabon scored only one goal, but thanks to an Aubameyang hat-trick on June 15, 2013, Gabon stayed in contention for a play-off berth with a 4–1 victory over Niger. However, Burkina Faso eliminated Gabon in the final qualifier with the 1–0 result as Gabon finished third in its group.

For the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon has been drawn to qualify against Togo. Even though Daniel Cousin scored in each leg against Togo, Gabon missed out on the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as it lost 3–2 on aggregate. A year later, Gabon played six qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as it was drawn with Burkina Faso, Angola and Lesotho. Despite a stunning 1–1 result in Lesotho in qualifying, Gabon finished ahead of Burkina Faso to top the group as it qualified for the tournament with a game to spare in Angola. In January 2015, Gabon was drawn along with Burkina Faso, Congo and Equatorial Guinea. However, its 2–0 victory on the opening day of the tournament were all the points Gabon achieved during the tournament as it suffered a shocking exit in the group stage.

Results and fixtures


The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss

2021

25 March 2021 (2021-03-25) 2021 AFCONQ Gabon  3–0  DR Congo Franceville, Gabon
17:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Stade de Franceville
Referee: Janny Sikazwe (Zambia)
29 March 2021 (2021-03-29) 2021 AFCONQ Angola  2–0  Gabon Luanda, Angola
17:00 UTC+1
Report Stadium: Estádio 11 de Novembro
Referee: Gehad Grisha (Egypt)
5 September 2021 (2021-09-05) Friendly Estonia  v  Gabon
--:-- UTC±0
7 October 2021 (2021-10-07) Friendly Moldova  v  Gabon
--:-- UTC±0

Players


Current squad

The following players were selected for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against DR Congo and Angola on 25 and 29 March 2021 respectively.[21]

Caps and goals updated as of 29 March 2021, after the match against Angola.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Anthony Mfa Mezui (1991-03-07) 7 March 1991 (age 30) 15 0 Rodange 91
1GK Donald Nzé (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 29) 3 0 Maniema Union
1GK Jean-Noël Amonome (1997-12-24) 24 December 1997 (age 23) 1 0 Uthongathi

2DF Bruno Ecuele Manga (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 33) 87 9 Dijon
2DF Lloyd Palun (1988-11-28) 28 November 1988 (age 32) 62 0 Guingamp
2DF Johann Obiang (1993-07-05) 5 July 1993 (age 28) 32 0 Rodez
2DF Junior Assoumou (1995-07-22) 22 July 1995 (age 26) 13 0 Bourges
2DF Yoann Wachter (1992-04-07) 7 April 1992 (age 29) 9 0 Saint-Malo
2DF Gilchrist Nguema (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 24) 4 0 Maccabi Ahi Nazareth
2DF Sidney Obissa (2000-05-04) 4 May 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Ajaccio
2DF Anthony Oyono (2001-04-12) 12 April 2001 (age 20) 1 0 Boulogne

3MF André Biyogo Poko (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 (age 28) 63 2 Altay
3MF Guélor Kanga (1990-08-01) 1 August 1990 (age 31) 47 2 Red Star Belgrade
3MF Didier Ndong (1994-05-17) 17 May 1994 (age 27) 38 0 Dijon
3MF Mario Lemina (1993-09-01) 1 September 1993 (age 27) 19 3 Nice
3MF Serge-Junior Martinsson Ngouali (1992-01-23) 23 January 1992 (age 29) 11 0 Gorica
3MF Nathanael Mbourou (1996-08-24) 24 August 1996 (age 24) 2 0 Maritzburg United

4FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (1989-06-18) 18 June 1989 (age 32) 66 27 Arsenal
4FW Denis Bouanga (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 (age 26) 20 7 Saint-Étienne
4FW Aaron Boupendza (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 24) 16 4 Hatayspor
4FW Gaëtan Missi Mezu (1996-05-04) 4 May 1996 (age 25) 9 0 Etar
4FW Jim Allevinah (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 26) 8 0 Clermont
4FW Kévin Mayi (1993-01-14) 14 January 1993 (age 28) 2 0 Ümraniyespor
4FW Fahd Ndzengue (2000-07-07) 7 July 2000 (age 21) 2 0 Tabor Sežana

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up for Gabon in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Yves Bitséki Moto (1983-04-23) 23 April 1983 (age 38) 26 1 Mosta v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
GK Dallian Allogho (1996-06-08) 8 June 1996 (age 25) 0 0 Bouenguidi v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
GK Junior Noubi (1999-06-20) 20 June 1999 (age 22) 0 0 Cholet v.  Gambia, 16 November 2020

DF Stévy Nzambé (1991-09-04) 4 September 1991 (age 29) 12 0 Ittihad Tanger v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE

MF Lévy Madinda (1992-06-11) 11 June 1992 (age 29) 53 6 Sabah v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
MF Merlin Tandjigora (1990-04-06) 6 April 1990 (age 31) 29 1 Djoliba v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
MF Medwin Biteghé (1996-09-01) 1 September 1996 (age 24) 5 0 Al-Adalah v.  Gambia, 16 November 2020

FW Axel Méyé (1995-06-06) 6 June 1995 (age 26) 25 1 Ittihad Tanger v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
FW Louis Ameka (1996-10-03) 3 October 1996 (age 24) 15 0 Chamois Niortais v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE
FW Meshak Babanzila (2001-06-11) 11 June 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Paris v.  DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE

DEC Player refused to join the team after the call-up.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Player has retired from international football.
SUS Suspended from the national team.

Records


As of 29 March 2021[22]
Players in bold text are still active with Gabon.

Competition records


World Cup record

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Part of  France Part of  France
1934
1938
1950
1954
1958
1962
1966 Withdrew Withdrew
1970 Did not enter Did not enter
1974 Withdrew Withdrew
1978 Did not enter Did not enter
1982
1986
1990 Did not qualify 6 2 0 4 5 9
1994 4 2 1 1 7 5
1998 7 2 1 4 4 11
2002 2 1 0 1 1 2
2006 12 3 5 4 15 14
2010 16 9 0 7 20 13
2014 6 2 1 3 5 6
2018 8 2 3 3 3 8
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026 To be determined To be determined
Total - 0/23 - - - - - - 61 23 11 27 60 68

Africa Cup of Nations record

Africa Cup of Nations record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA
1957Part of  France
1959
1962 to 1968Not affiliated to CAF
1970Did not enter
1972Did not qualify
1974Withdrew
1976Did not enter
1978Did not qualify
1980Did not enter
1982Withdrew
1984 to 1992Did not qualify
1994Group stage12th200204
1996Quarter-finals7th311143
1998Did not qualify
2000Group stage16th301226
2002 to 2008Did not qualify
2010Group stage10th311122
2012Quarter-finals5th431073
2013Did not qualify
2015Group stage12th310223
20179th303022
2019Did not qualify
2021Qualified
2023To be determined
2025
TotalQuarter-finals8/33216691923

African Nations Championship record

Honours


UNIFAC Cup :

  • Champions: 1999

UDEAC Championship :

  • Champions: 1985, 1988
  • Runner-up: 1989

Minor

Champions: 2013
Runner-up: 2007

References


  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  2. "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. "Jeux Sportifs de la Communauté Française 1960 (Tananarive, Madagascar)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. "Burkina Faso matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. "Jeux de l'Amitié 1961 (Abidjan, Ivory Coast)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  6. "Member Association - Gabon". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  7. "Jeux de l'Amitié 1963 (Dakar, Senegal)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  8. "World Cup 1966 Qualifying". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  9. "How Africa Boycotted the 1966 World Cup". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  10. "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  11. "Games of the XIX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Mexico City, Mexico, 1968)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  12. "Member Association - Gabon". www.cafonline.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  13. "Games of the XX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Munchen, Germany, 1972)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  14. "World Cup Qualifying 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  15. "African Games 1973". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  16. "African nations Cup 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  17. "Sao Tome matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  18. "Jeux d'Afrique Centrale 1976 (Gabon, June 28-July 11)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  19. "African Nations Cup 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  20. "African Games 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  21. "Fédération Gabonaise de Football". Twitter.
  22. Mamrud, Roberto. "Gabon – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  23. "Gabon, Djibouti suspended for Total CHAN 2020". CAF. 15 November 2017.