The chairman, governing board of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Babangida Nguroje and Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) have applauded the resilience of Nigeria’s senior national female football team, the Super Falcons for overcoming all odds to win the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana for a record nine times.
In a statement yesterday, Hon. Nguroje described the Falcons’ performance as superlative and amazing, saying the Nigerian ladies have truly showed that they are African champions in the round leather game.
The NIPC chairman charged the team to replicate the performance at the forthcoming FIFA Women World Cup in France.
SWAN on its part, said the success which has taken the nation’s haul in the continental championship to a record nine times underscores the strength of Nigeria when it comes to female football in Africa and also reaffirmed the never say die spirit of an average Nigerian.
“The body, however, challenged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to keep afloat its promise by immediately kick starting preparation for the FIFA 2019 Women World Cup in France.
Nigeria has over the years dominated the African scene and the icing of the cake will be excelling at the global stage where unfortunately the country has not been able to impress”.
SWAN notes that the time to beef up the team is now going by the fact that, apart from losing to the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the opening game, the team equally had to face extra time to win the championship through the lottery of penalty shootout.
It is instructive to note that the African champions struggled to defeat Cameroon in the semifinals, which was also achieved after penalty kicks.
“All these are indicators that we must go back to the drawing board if we must continue to excel in the championship, as other African nations are beginning to catch up with us.
“The foreign coach must be made to be on top of his game, because the output of the Super Falcons in the AWCON was arguably the poorest and we must not allow the eventual victory to give a false sense of strength.
“We urge the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to work towards avoiding the embarrassing situation two years ago, where the girls had to protest before getting their entitlements after winning the championship in Cameroon”.
“SWAN expects that every promise made to them must be fulfilled without much ado; just as it hopes that relevant authorities will be more visible at the preparatory stages for championships the country is participating in, rather than at the end.
”WAN stated in a statement issued by Martins Mejabi, administrative secretary of SWAN.