FIFA World Ranking: 42
First Reasonable World Cup Appearance: 2014
Simply put, Gabon should be in the 2010 edition of the Cup but they relinquished their lead in Stage III, despite leading the group.
However, let's take things from the beginning of their qualifying campaign.
Drawn into Group V of Africa's second stage they finished in a three-way tie with Ghana and Libya with 12 points.
Ghana and Gabon moved on as both had the superior goal difference and goals for over Libya.
Now onto Stage III.
Through three games, Gabon had six points, Togo had four, Cameroon had four, and Morocco had two.
Togo and Morocco drew their next match giving Togo five and Morocco three, while Cameroon defeated Gabon for the second time to take over the group lead from them by one point.
This is how the group stayed with Cameroon winning their final two matches and Gabon beating Morocco and losing to Togo.
However after two losses to group winner Cameroon, Gabon clearly lost control of this group after taking the early lead and winning half of their games, one less than Cameroon.
In the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations they were paired with Zambia, Cameroon, and Tunisia.
They ended up tying in points with Zambia and Cameroon but both of those teams scored five goals and gave up five while Gabon only scored two while giving up only two.
Gabon started off at No. 64 in the World Rankings in August 1993 and fell to No. 125 in April 2003 before making it up to No.30 in April 2009.
This to me is obvious since Gabon, with at least a draw with Togo (they lost to them 1-0) and Cameroon, they would've advanced to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.