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The Gabonese national football team nicknamed Les Panthères (The Panthers) or Les Brésiliens (The Brazilians) is the national team of Gabon and is controlled by the Gabonese Football Association. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but have qualified seven times (as of 2017) for the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Gabon made its debut on 13 April 1960, participating in the first friendly tournament (Jeux de L'Amitié) organized for French-speaking African countries (a forerunner of modern African games) in Antananarivo, Madagascar. In the first round they were drawn against Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), who also made their debut, and lost 5 to 4, although they were at 3 to 2 at half-time lead. They played no more game for a year and a half, until the next time the tournament in December 1961 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, was held. [They were drawn together with Cameroon and Senegal in Pool 3. Gabon started the tournament with a 3-2 defeat by Senegal on Christmas day before Cameroon defeated 6-0 on Boxing Day and finished last in the group. Several months after the tournament, the Gabunian Football Federation (Federation Gabonaise de Football) was formed to formally monitor the development of the national team and national football. The new league did not have to wait long for its first victory, as in the next game on July 14, 1962 they defeated the Congo in their first home game on home soil with 3: 1. They played in 1962 two more games, a 1-1 A draw against Cameroon on August 20, a huge improvement over their previous game, and a 3-1 away defeat to the Congo on September 16, before they participated in the third and final friendlies held in April 1963 in Dakar, Senegal. They were drawn in Group C together with British Gambia, the French Amateur Team and Upper Volta. They opened with a strong 4-0 win over Upper Volta on 12 April, but were beaten 3-0 by the French amateurs two days later. They drew their last game 2-2 with British Gambia on April 16 and finished in second place in the group, a significant improvement over their previous two appearances at the tournament; However, only the group winners progressed, which is why Gabon was eliminated. A few months later, Gabon qualified for the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. On 8 October 1964, however, they withdrew with all other African participants in protest against the decision of FIFA to secure Africa, Asia and Oceania only one final round.
As a result of this boycott, Gabon did not play another game for more than two years, until it came to a friendly against Nigeria in August 1965, ending 2-2 on 28 August and losing 4-1 the next day. At the 35th FIFA Congress on 6 July 1966 in London (England), Gabon was officially admitted as a full member of FIFA. They played their next game on 2 December 1966 when they suffered a 4: 3 defeat by the Democratic Republic of the Congo before returning home on 4 January 1967 and winning 1-0 this time. They played another friendly, a 3-0 home defeat to Côte d'Ivoire on 28 March before qualifying for the 1968 Olympic Football Tournament in Mexico. In the first round they were drawn against Guinea, with whom they drew 0-0 at home on 18 June draw before they were played on 9 July in the second leg 6: 1. In 1967 they became full members of the CAF. After the Olympic qualifiers Gabon played no further game for two years until they traveled to Dahomey (now Benin) on August 24, 1969, to play a friendly, they lost 1-0.
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