The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have cited “lack of finances” as one of the reasons why Nigeria’s senior women national team, the Super Falcons have not been in action for about a year.
The Falcons, led by a former captain Florence Omagbemi won the Africa Women Cup of Nations in December last year after a narrow victory over host nation Cameroon in Yaounde to land their eighth African title.
What followed the triumph was a show of shame in which members of the team embarked on an infamous protest to ensure they got their match allowances from a hesitant Sports Ministry and Football Federation.
“Actually, there had been some crises with the team,” acknowledged Bitrus Bewarang, Federation’s Technical Director in a chat to www.aclsports.com
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“You know that this competition (Women’s World Cup) is four years (interval) and because of lack of our finances, we will not keep them for four years for preparations which is supposed to be the standard.”
Bewarang insists it is not a discriminatory move against the women’s team and gave the example of the Men’s Olympic team who are also without a coach, almost sixteen months after competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It’s the same thing with the Under-23s, we are yet to appoint their coaches because the Olympics come every four years. Sometimes it is not our making but the competition period actually dictates the call-up of players to camp so that we get prepared,” added Bewarang.
With the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations less than a year away, Bewarang stated that the Federation is fully aware of what needs to be done and have started so by the announcement of American Randy Marlon Waldrum as the team’s head coach.
“We are aware of it and already, a US citizen (Waldrum) has been appointed (to the team). This is because we have tried, since we are number one in Africa, but at that world stage, we’ve not been able to get it right hence the decision to bring in an expatriate like Gernot Rohr for the Super Eagles.
“We are expecting him. In fact, he was supposed to come for final negotiation last Tuesday but the communication was not passed to him on time so by the grace of God by next week, it’ll be sorted. All of these are just the idea of getting the right people and right results,” said the former Plateau United coach.
Nigeria will face the winner of the qualifying tie between Burkina Faso and Gambia in April next year as they bid to defend their title in Ghana later in the year.