GFA History

Playing football had been existing in The Gambia since the early 20’s mostly in the streets of Bathurst now called Banjul, and in the 30’s players were playing at the MacCarthy Square now called 22nd July Square.

In 1940 a league was formed call the Bathurst League comprising only teams in Bathurst (Banjul) Augustinians, East End Lions, Dingareh, Hotspur, School XI, Young Lions, Gambia United, RAF, Navy, MSU, Heroes, and Black Diamonds. All matches were played at the MacCarthy Square, and during this period fitness trophies and friendly matches were played. Coronation Cup and Black & White Cup were contested.

It was on the 3rd of November 1952 that The Gambia Football Association was formed, that they affiliated with the Football world body FIFA and CAF.

During this period there was no congress 1952 – 1955, a white man working at the Medical and Health Office call R.C. Roscoe, who was chosen to take charge of running the GFA, he was the secretary and also the officer in charge of the National team.

UAC, Augustinians, Gambia Regiment, Rainbow, Gambia United, Police, Prisons, Medical XI and White Phantoms all registered.

There was no relegation, no promotion, during this period, unlike the early period teams used to form their 2nd teams only to recruit from their 2nd teams.

It was introduced (2nd division) 1954/55 football Season President FA XI, President Cricket, XI Government Non Government, Atomic and it was Atomic FC was the first team to be promoted to Division I.

During this period a land was allocated to the GFA, called the Box Bar Stadium named after a white man called Mr. Box Bar. All teams contributed in clearing the area and the first FA Cup final was played at the Box Bar Stadium 05/07 1952. Gambia United 2 Augustinians 1 and the first international match played at the Box Bar was against Guinea Bissau 02/06/1953 – Bissau won by 3 goals to 1.

Other friendly matches were played under R.C Roscoe management.

2/01/53 GFA XI 3 Teachers Union 1
9/02/53 Gambia 2 Sierra Leone 1
2/06/53 Gambia 1 Bissau 2
8/06/53 Bissau 1 Gambia 0
4/06/54 Gambia 2 European XI 0
14/11/54 Gambia 2 HM Pelican 1

In 1955 the first congress was held and BO Janneh was elected as the first President.

The Executive members

B.O. Janneh President
W.B. Thomas Vice President
R.C. Roscoe Hon. Secretary
M.O. Mboob Treasurer
J. Hill (Whiteman) Trustee
T. Draper (Whiteman) Auditor
O.K. Saho Grounds men
L. Prom Grounds men

The divisional matches were not well organised, so 1991/92 football teams were reintroduced again, Peakmarwick, Joggifans, Flamemins, Waterside, Linguere, Steve Biko and GPA.

2003/2004 football season Gambia was eliminated in the world cup qualifying and the African Nation 16/11/03 Gambia 0 Liberia 3 for 2 years. The President Alhagie Gabbi Sosseh et up an enquiry headed by Gyra Lamin. The Technical Director Sang Ndong and his entire staff were sacked. GFA decided not to play international matches, and the decision annoyed nearly all the teams in the league, more than sixty teams wrote a letter to The GFA requesting an immediate resignation of the GFA President and called on NO VOTE of confident. He was impeached on the 7/11/04 at the Independence Stadium. A Congress was held and Alhagie Omar Sey was elected President.

In 1956 The Gambia made their first tour to Sierra Leone on the 31/10/56 Gambia played against the Rural Areas (Freetown) and The Gambia won by 1 goal to nil. The second match was 3/11/56 against South Eastern States played in BO and The Gambia won by 2 goals to nil. The third match was on the 07/11/56 against Northern Province in Makini and Gambia won by 4 goals to 1. The final match was against Sierra Leone played in Freetown and Sierra Leone won by 1 goal to nil.

1011/56 The players that made the tour are as follows:

Amadou Tall White Phantoms
Dawda Corr Rainbow
Ismaila Jagne (Lagra) Foyer
Mam Barra Taal White Phantoms
Pa Mamadi Sowe Rainbow
Melburry Jatta
Francis Eku Forbes White Phantoms
Kebba Njie Gam United
Assan Jallow (Kanya) Atomic
William Daddy Tamba Atomic
Habat Sowe
William Stapleton UAC
Pa Sulay Njie Rainbow
Jonny Johnson Augustinians
Sulayman Samba (Captain) Police
Abdoulie Mboob Gam United Police (Goalkeeper)
Mayagou Njie
Dodou Jack

B.O. Janneh
Gibriel George
Ousman Saho
Pa Louis Prom

1955/56 season starling, Police B, Bathurst wonderers FC, Field Force FC, Casuals FC were in division II.

On the 5/12/61 Gambia beat Senegal by 3 goals to 2 in their famous victory in Dakar (Kawme Nkrumah Gold Cup)

O.K Saho - Manager
Amadou Taal
Nyamsu Sambou
Ebou Max Njie
George Gomez
Salifu Ndure
Fancis Eku Forbes
Hassan Jallow
Musa Jobarteh
Solomon Gomez
Ousman Sillah
Pa William Ndure
Abdoulie Ngum

2/3/69 coach Drater Crammer arrived from German to assist The Gambia for six weeks and he departed on the 14/4/69.

1969 season Augustinians played against Wallidan and Moses Trinn leg was broken by Solomon Nyassi. He was admitted to RVH. GFA management promised to take Moses Trinn to Dakar for further treatment, which did not. Some of the teams felt it was not good for the sport, they decided to break away from the league and form their own league at KG5 (Banjul Mini Stadium).

Two Presidents were running the Association – the matter was taken to court and it was judge by SIR Phillip Bridges who made the ruling saying only the management committee may arrange games at the Stadium, neither MC Cham or O’brien Coker can arrange international matches. Ruling was made when MC Cham was making arrangement for the national team from Guinea, the other side felt disappointment at the handling of the Association Affairs and demanded the immediate resignation of the President. Other members followed passing out what they called (Vote of no confidence). The President who argued that only the Association General Body could take such action.

1967/68 teams were increased to eight and two team registered Real FC and Young Lions, Real was formally called Benson and Hedges under the management of Cherno Bara Touray (Denis Law) and Mam Sait Njie (Hang). During that period there was no qualifying round for the first (1st) division team can be formed and registered only if the team can produce five or more players in the first (1st) division.

Wallidan FC, Blackstar, Freezers FC, Starlight FC, Mansa Musa FC, joined the league – Arrance FC changed its name to Adonis FC.

30/11/09 the first radio commentary was the FA Cup final between White Phantoms Vs Real De Banjul FC. Seedy Jaw and Sulayman Njie – commentators.

Real FC White Phantoms
Saihou Njie Musa Manga
Mustapha Conteh Musa Jobarteh
Saihou Sarr Saloum Njie
Sering Faye M.I. Jallow (Kabba)
Yusupha Sibbi (Captain) Cherno Touray
Nyanga Sallah Cherno Touray
Salieu Foon Alieu Koroma
Garnet Coker Essa Njie
Musa Njie Ebou Faye (Limba)
Kebba Diaz Dodou Ndure
Mam Sait Njie (Hang) (Manager) Eliman Secka
Toto Senghore
Kebba Touray (Manager)

Alhagie Momodou Ngoss Njie commonly known as Biri Njie, the name was given to him by his Quaranic teacher at the age of 5 and was born on the 30th March 1948 at No 6 Perseverance Street in Bathurst now called Banjul. He attends Albion, Stanley, St. Mary’s and Crab Island. He started his football in the street of Banjul especially Primet Street. He started his national football at the age of 15, were he was scouted by a second division team called Black star. He played for one match and then to Black Diamonds. In 1963 he transferred to Arrance FC then to Augustinians and finally to Wallidan FC.. he was selected to the national team at the age of 15 and made his debut against Liberia when he came as a substitute to replace Pa William Ndure at the Box Bar Stadium on the 29/11/1963.

On the 10th/04/65 he was signed by Blackpool FC in Sierra Leone as a semi professional and he played for six months before he came back to The Gambia. On the 23/10/70 he was invited by Derby County FC (English team) managed by Brian Clough for trail matches. Arrangements were made by the President of The Gambia Amateur Association Matarr A Sarr who was in Britain for the Commonwealth Games.

On the 15/11/70 Alhagie Biri Njie left for England for the trail matches at the Baseball ground, the home of Derby County FC. He made his debut trial against British Olympic side 13/12/70 which his side won, and he scored the only goal and his second trail was Derby A Vs Derby B at the Baseball ground and his side also won by 2 goals to nil and he scored one of the goals and the final match was on the 17/12/70 Derby A Vs Derby B and his side won by 1 goal to nil scoring the only goal.

29/12/70 he registered his 400 goals from 1963 – 1970 football season and registered his 100 international caps (appearances) 1973.

In 1972 a Danish first division team called B1901 visited The Gambia to play friendly matches with Wallidan FC and Real De Banjul FC. Alhagie Biri Njie played for Wallidan FC against the Danish side 14/03/72 and he scored the goals. The second match he played against Wallidan FC and scored 3 goals. He was so impressed by the Danish coach Earling Nielson who decided to sign and became the 2nd foreign base players in Scandinavia apart from Salif Keita. He signed a five year contract. In 1976 he signed another contract with Spanish team called Seville FC. The team Diego Maradona once played for. He has a fan club name after him called Biri’s Norte behind the goalpost, north side of the stadium. In 1978 he returned to Denmark to play for Herfolio FC until 1981 when he returned to The Gambia and played for Wallidan FC. He was voted the outstanding sports personality of the year and the most outstanding footballer of the century.

27/12/76 a site was chosen for the construction of a football stadium at Bakau 40 acres of land built by the People Republic of China loan D31m. The former President Dawda K. Jawara laid the foundation 15/5/80 and the entire complex handed to the government on the 1/7/83.

1974/75 the teams were increased to eleven, White Phantoms, Augustinians, Police, Kwame, Eben, Benfica, Starlight, Adonis, Real, GPA and Wallidan.

1975/76 teams were also reduced to 6 relegating Benfica, White Phantoms, Adonis Eben, Augustinians.

In 1979 the national team made their first tour to the far east and Europe, China, Denmark, Norway and Germany. They won all their matches in Germany lost all their matches in China. In Denmark they drew with B1901, in Norway Minodalene FC defeated them by 3 goals to 1.

On the 13/11/83 the first official match at the Independence Stadium was SS Ceesay Trophy final between Starlight and Hawks and it was Muhammed Williams (Fijabi) who scored his first goal in the 34th minute. The match ended 1 goal each.

Hawks won on penalties when Baboucarr Bah (Edacarr) missed a penalty.

20/01/84 the official opening of the Independence Stadium by HE Dawda Kairaba Jawara former President of the Republic of The Gambia.

GFA invited the neighbouring countries Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Conakry; Essa Faye scored the first international goal against Sierra Leone in the 38th minutes.

1987/88 season Mr. BB. Darboe was appointed as the minister of Sports Gambia went to the Zone II to participate in the tournament. Gambia played on the 28/04/88 against Senegal and Gambia was crashed 4 goals to nil. The Minister felt that the GFA was not doing enough to keep football in The Gambia in good order. He decided to disband (dissolve) the GFA, divisional committee formed, appointed James Abraham as an Interim President and Kebba Yorro Manneh as the Secretary. The league didn’t continue, because Starlight, Roots, Young African all withdrew because of financial problem.

The Minister organised a divisional football: Banjul played with LRD and Banjul won by 17 goals to nil.

  • Sam J Forster - 1955 – 1956
  • Bo Janneh - 1956 – 1966
  • MC Cham - 1966 – 1977
  • Ebrima M. Samba - 1977 – 1978
  • B.O. Fofana - 1978 – 1986
  • Alhagie Mustapha Ngum - 1986 – 1988
  • James Abraham Interim - 1988 – 1989
  • Ousman Sillah Interim - 1989 – 1990
  • George Gomez Interim - 1990 – 1992
  • Alhagie Babou Ceesay - 1992 – 1993
  • Alhagie O.B. Conateh - 1993 – 2001
  • Alhagie Gabbi Sosseh - 2001 – 2004
  • Alhagie Omar Sey - 2004 – 2006
  • Seedy M.B. Kinteh - 2006 – Update

R.C. Roscoe 1955 – 1960
O.O. Jobe 1963 – 1964
Sulayman Samba 1967 – 1969
M.O. Janneh 1960 – 1963
Michael Touray 1969 – 1970
Omar Sey 1970 – 1977
Sering Omar Faye 1986 – 1987
Anthony Blain 1987 – 1989
P.J. Williams 1964 – 1967
Alasan Gitteh 1993 – 2001
Momodou Dibba 1977 – 1982
Mass Sarr 1982 – 1983
Edmond Shonobi 1983 – 1986
Kebbeh Yorro Manneh 1989 – 1993
Jammeh E.K. Bojang 2001 - Date

R.C. Roscoe - 1952 – 1953

Ousman Saho - 1953 – 1962

Pa Louis Prom - 1962 – 1965

Francis Eku Forbes - 1965 – 1968

Moses Trinn - 1968 – 1975

Cherno Touray - 1975 – 1978

M.I. Jallow - 1978 – 1983

Saihou Sarr - 1984 – 1986

Momodou Biri Njie (Coach Kobna Zone II) - 1986 – 1987

Juan Rotriges Chanse - 1987 – 1988

No Active Football - 1988 – 1991

Nigerian Laloko (Ebrima Bojang Brikama) - 1991 – 1991

Alhagie Sillah - 1991 – 1992

Sang Ndong - 1992 – 1993

Alhagie Sillah - 1993 – 1995

Sang Ndong - 1995 – 1996

John Hansen - 1996 – 1996

Colin Murphy - 27/06/1997 – 10/07/1997

Disbanded - 1998 – 2000

Tori Lennerson (Swedish) - 16/09/1999

Rudy May (German) - Sponsored by German Tour FTI 2 Months

Sang Ndong - 2001 – 2002

Alhagie Sillah - 2002 – 2004

Alhagie Sarr - 2005 – 2006

Musa Njie - 05/08/2006 1 Month

Tony Hay - 08/08/2006 – 22/04/2007

Joseph Reveles - 22/04/2007 – 06/05 2008

Paul Put - 18/05/2008 – To Date

Pa Louis Prom - 020/2/1981

Bucarr Semega Janneh - 21/07/1910 – 21/06/2002

Bukarr O Fofana - 09/05/2009

O.K. Saho - 06/06/1970

Muhammed Ousman Janneh - 15/10/1924 – 15/10/1982

Matarr K Sarr - 28/03/1973

Kissima Ousman Janneh - 15/04/1983

Momodou S Koita - 27/04/1923 – 27/05/1998

Sulayman Samba - 28/03/1973

Adama Ceesay - 07/07/2009

IBA Kelepha Samba - 18/06/1995

Abdou Rahman Coker - 01/11/1981

Abdoulie Mboob - 11/11/2004

Ousainou Njie (Jimmy) - 17/04/2006

Alhagie Nguss Njie - 20/10/1990

Nurainu Carew - 25/01/2010

Saihou Ceesay Arrance - 31/03/2008

Essa Bobb Starlight - 03/08/2008

Omar Touray (ET) Starlight - 18/08/2005

Baboucarr Bah (Edacar) Starlight - 07/05/2004

Momodou Ceesay (Adume) Benfica - 28/02/2005

Baba Mbowe Real - 03/04/2000

Pa Matarr Pindo Drammeh Real - 12/04/1974

Dodou Touray (Saine) Hawks - 18/01/1996

Abdoulie Sarr Augustinians - 02/06/2002

Manga Ngum Wallidan - 12/09/2003

Yusupha IBA Samba Arrance - 17/07/1994

Alhagie Aziz Coker Phantoms - 05/06/2005

William Stapleton Atomic - 11/04/2004

Abou Denton Tarru XI - 13/08/2003

Abdoulie Mboob Police - 04/11/2004

Anthony Blain Black Diamond 28/10/1999

Dawda Corr 29/06/1981

Cherno Gaye Foyer - 29/07/2005

Gibriel George Atomic - 21/12/1931 – 2/08/1981

Yusupha Sibbi Real - 20/04/2008

Sandu Bojang Wallidan - 24/04/2006

Johnny Johnson Augustinians - 07/07/1997

Ebou Max Njie Black Diamond 28/09/2004

Njoke Malick Njie Arrance Wallidan 15/08/2004

Kebba Njie Benfica 01/05/1980

Ousman Njie (Tarru) Augustinians - 07/04/2006

Malick Joof (Pie) White Phantoms 09/08/2005

Amadou Tall (Black Tiger) White Phantoms 04/08/2005

Amadou Jallow (Pol) White Phantoms 12/06/2007

Demba Ndow Wallidan 06/11/2006

Sega Jobe Wallidan 14/11/2006

Sulayman Samba Police 28/03/1973

Nyanga Sallah Real 30/07/1981

Pa Ebrima Touray Police Phantoms 19/03/2003

Seedy Ebrima Njie (Master) Gam United 11/06/2008

Charles Javis Turner 22/09/1962

Thomas Okan Sawyer Starlight 27/09/2008

Alhagie Omar Gaye Hawks 01/10/200

Ismaila Jagne (Labra) Gam United 20/06/1960

Mustapha Conteh Real 07/07/1994

Alieu Leigh Arrance 05/11/2005

Bill Badjie Starlight 05/11/2005

Omaru Camara Benfica 14/12/2008

Pa William Ndure UAC 29/01/2009

Noah Johnson Police 07/07/1987

Babou Njangum Police 26/12/2008

Banny Forster Aug/Phantoms 05/03/2011

Dodou Nying (Buru Buru) G/United/Phantoms 05/03/2011

Francis Dandison Ekundayo Grey Forbes Phantoms 05/06/2009

William Grant Augustinians 12/08/2009

Alhagie Bangura (Look) Hawks 21/10/2008

Leku Robinson Starlight 22/11/2010

Alieu Sinyan Adonis 08/08/2010

Alieu Sallah 31/12/1997

Yaram Faye Freezers 14/03/2011

Moses Sarr Wallidan 05/06/2007

Pascal Njie Hawks 01/10/2009

Bambo Jaiteh Benfica 15/01/2010

Eliman Sarr Arrance 02/09/2007

Gambia Football Association

GFA League First Division

Team MP W D L Pts
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2 Real Banjul 22 10 10 2 40
3 Ports Authority 22 9 8 5 35
4 GAMTEL 22 8 9 5 33
5 Armed Forces 22 7 10 5 31

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