Qualification history
Niger first took part in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying in the run-up to England 1966, but have never managed to advance to the final stages. One of the Ména’s most exciting runs came in the qualifiers for Spain 1982, when they defeated Somalia and Togo before being knocked out by Algeria, while in the USA 1994 campaign, they missed out on competing in the final qualifying round by one point. Recent efforts – finishing last in their second-round qualifying groups for South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 – have been much less impressive, however.

The team
A sign of recent progress for Niger can be found in their qualification for two CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in a row, in 2012 and 2013. Unfortunately, their combined results at both contests – losses in five out of six group-stage games, while scoring just one goal – demonstrated that they still have some way to go if they wish to compete with Africa’s elite sides.

The coach
Francois Zahoui was appointed as national coach of Niger in May 2015, after the position had remained vacant for several months. A former Côte d’Ivoire international whose playing career hit its peak in the 1980s, he later oversaw Les Éléphants’ charge to the final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

The stat
7 – Niger have taken part in seven World Cup qualifying campaigns.

The former stars
Jacques Komlan, Hassane Adamou, Moussa Kanfideni