Gabon national football team
|Nickname(s)||Les Panthères |
|Association||Gabonese Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||UNIFFAC (Central Africa)|
|Head coach||Patrice Neveu|
|Most caps||Didier Ovono (112)|
|Top scorer||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (30)|
|Home stadium||Stade d'Angondjé|
|Current||81 1 (31 March 2022)|
|Highest||30 (July 2009)|
|Lowest||125 (April–May 2003)|
| Upper Volta 5–4 Gabon |
(Madagascar; 13 April 1960)
| Gabon 7–0 Benin |
(Libreville, Gabon; 2 April 1995)
| Cameroon 6–0 Gabon |
(Abidjan, Ivory Coast; 26 December 1961)
Morocco 6–0 Gabon
(Rabat, Morocco; 15 November 2006)
|Africa Cup of Nations|
|Appearances||8 (first in 1994)|
|Best result||Quarter-finals, 1996 and 2012|
The Gabon national football team (French: Équipe de football du Gabon) represents Gabon in men's international football. The team's nickname is The Panthers 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. In 1967, they also became full members of CAF. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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
|25 March 2021 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 AFCONQ||Angola||2–0||Gabon||Luanda, Angola|
|17:00 UTC+1||Report||Stadium: Estádio 11 de Novembro|
Referee: Gehad Grisha (Egypt)
|1 September 2021 2022 FWCQ||Libya||2–1||Gabon||Benghazi, Libya|
||Stadium: Martyrs of February Stadium|
Referee: Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)
|5 September 2021 2022 FWCQ||Gabon||1–1||Egypt||Franceville, Gabon|
||Stadium: Stade de Franceville|
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|8 October 2021 2022 FWCQ||Angola||3–1||Gabon||Luanda, Angola|
||Stadium: Estádio 11 de Novembro|
Referee: Souleiman Ahmed Djama (Djibouti)
|11 October 2021 2022 FWCQ||Gabon||2–0||Angola||Franceville|
|14:00 UTC+1||Report||Stadium: Stade de Franceville|
Referee: Maguette N'Diaye (Senegal)
|12 November 2021 2022 FWCQ||Gabon||1–0||Libya||Franceville|
|Report||Stadium: Stade de Franceville|
Referee: Mashood Ssali (Uganda)
|16 November 2021 2022 FWCQ||Egypt||2–1||Gabon||Alexandria|
||Stadium: Borg El Arab Stadium|
Referee: Georges Gatogato (Burundi)
|4 January 2022 Friendly||Mauritania||1–1||Gabon||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
||Stadium: The Sevens Stadium|
|10 January 2022 2021 AFCON||Comoros||0–1||Gabon||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
||Stadium: Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo|
Referee: Peter Waweru (Kenya)
|14 January 2022 2021 AFCON||Gabon||1–1||Ghana||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
||Stadium: Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo|
Referee: Lahlou Benbraham (Algeria)
|18 January 2022 2021 AFCON||Gabon||2–2||Morocco||Yaoundé, Cameroon|
|Report||Stadium: Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo|
Referee: Beida Dahane (Mauritania)
|23 January 2021 AFCON Round of 16||Burkina Faso||1–1 (a.e.t.)|
||Report||Stadium: Limbe Stadium|
Referee: Rédouane Jiyed (Morocco)
- Caretaker managers are listed in italics.
- Jean Prouff (1960)
- Robert Vicot (1979)
- Alain de Martigny (1985–1986)
- Nedeljko Bulatović (1986–1987)
- Alain Da Costa (1987–1989)
- Karl-Heinz Weigang (1989–1994)
- Edouard Eroumbengani (1989–1991)
- Robert Pintenat (1991–1992)
- Jean Thissen (1992–1994)
- Alain Da Costa (1994–1997)
- Serge Devèze (1997–1998)
- Antônio Dumas (1998–2000)
- Claude Rayelomanan (2000)
- Alain Da Costa (2000–2002)
- Michel De Wolf (2002–2003)
- Claude Albert Mbourounot (2003)
- Jairzinho (2003–2005)
- Raphaël Nzamba-Nzamba (2005–2006)
- Alain Giresse (2006–2010)
- Gernot Rohr (2010–2012)
- Paulo Jorge Rebelo Duarte (2012–2013)
- Stéphane Bounguendza (2014)
- Jorge Costa (2014–2016)
- José António Garrido (2016)
- José Antonio Camacho (2016–2018)
- Daniel Cousin (2018–2019)
- Patrice Neveu (2019–present)
Caps and goals updated as of 23 January 2022, after the match against Burkina Faso.
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||23 April 1983||26||1||Mosta||v. DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE|
|GK||Dallian Allogho||8 June 1996||0||0||Bouenguidi||v. DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE|
|DF||Stévy Nzambé||4 September 1991||12||0||Ittihad Tanger||v. DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE|
|MF||Lévy Madinda||11 June 1992||56||6||Sabah||v. Egypt, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Merlin Tandjigora||6 April 1990||29||1||Djoliba||v. DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE|
|FW||Meshak Babanzila||11 June 2001||0||0||Paris||v. DR Congo, 22 March 2021PRE|
DEC Player refused to join the team after the call-up.
- As of 23 January 2022
- Players in bold are still active with Gabon.
|3||Bruno Ecuélé Manga||95||9||2007–present|
|8||André Biyogo Poko||73||3||2010–present|
|3||Guy Roger Nzamba||21||47||0.45||1988–2000|
|9||Bruno Zita Mbanangoyé||11||68||0.16||1999–2012|
|Bruno Ecuélé Manga||9||95||0.09||2007–present|
FIFA World Cup record
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Part of France||Part of France|
|1970||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1978||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1990||Did not qualify||6||2||0||4||5||9|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
Africa Cup of Nations record
|Africa Cup of Nations record||Africa Cup of Nations qualification record|
|1957 to 1959||Part of France||Part of France|
|1962 to 1968||Not affiliated to CAF||Not affiliated to CAF|
|1970||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1972||Did not qualify||2||0||0||2||1||3|
|1976||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1978||Did not qualify||2||0||1||1||5||6|
|1980||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1984||Did not qualify||2||0||1||1||2||6|
|1998||Did not qualify||6||1||4||1||5||5|
|2002||Did not qualify||8||3||3||2||13||10|
|2013||Did not qualify|
|2019||Did not qualify|
|2021||Round of 16||12th||4||1||3||0||5||4|
|2023||To be determined|
African Nations Championship record
- 2009 – Did not qualify
- 2011 – Group stage
- 2014 – Quarter-finals
- 2016 – Group stage
- 2018 – Withdrew
- 2020 – Banned
- Champions: 1999
- Champions: 1985, 1988
- Runner-up: 1989
- Champions: 2013
- Runner-up: 2007
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 3 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
- "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Jeux Sportifs de la Communauté Française 1960 (Tananarive, Madagascar)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Burkina Faso matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Jeux de l'Amitié 1961 (Abidjan, Ivory Coast)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Member Association - Gabon". www.fifa.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Jeux de l'Amitié 1963 (Dakar, Senegal)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "World Cup 1966 Qualifying". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "How Africa Boycotted the 1966 World Cup". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Games of the XIX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Mexico City, Mexico, 1968)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Member Association - Gabon". www.cafonline.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Games of the XX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Munchen, Germany, 1972)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "World Cup Qualifying 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "African Games 1973". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "African nations Cup 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "Sao Tome matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "Jeux d'Afrique Centrale 1976 (Gabon, June 28-July 11)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "African Nations Cup 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- "African Games 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Oludare, Shina (18 December 2021). "Afcon 2021: Arsenal's Aubameyang, Brighton's Ella headline Gabon provisional squad". Goal.
- Mamrud, Roberto. "Gabon – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- "Gabon, Djibouti suspended for Total CHAN 2020". CAF. 15 November 2017.
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