The way the Super Falcons are treated is an embarrassment and maniacally bewildering too, a complete lack of interest in the development of the women’s game in Nigeria has gotten to an all-time low.
The Super Falcons remain the most successful – in terms of trophies won – national football team in the country, but the ‘least’ of the men’s national group, the U-15 gets much better treatment than this group of players that boasts of a three-time Africa female Footballer of the Year.
The disrespect directed towards the female teams – including the Falconets and Flamingos – is due to the usually poor outings of the Falcons at the FIFA World Cup – having failed miserably on that front, losing 16 of the 21 games played in 7 outings – however, the Super Eagles haven’t bettered a record at the men’s equivalent they set 24 years ago. Which in essence suggests that every World Cup the Super Eagles have attended since then is a failure, asides the financial incentives that come with going as far as the second round, there is nothing brilliant about it.
To put this in perspective, a year after the Super Falcons won a record eight AWCON title, the girls didn’t kick a ping pong in the national colors. What’s worse, Florence Omagbemi, the woman who became the first African to win the title both as a player and coach was sacked.
The Super Falcons brand is hurt so bad, that it is not even a consideration for any coach who is looking to start up. What followed after the infamous sacking of Omagbemi was a series of public rebuff by coaches; first, Paul Le Guen and then Randy Waldrum – the latter even chose University of Pittsburgh women’s team over the Super Falcons. Or not exactly so, the NFF assumed he had accepted the job even when they didn’t make an offer officially.
Now the girls have a coach, and a few games under their belt thanks to the qualifying games they had to play earlier in the year. But since the 6-0 bashing of Gambia in June, the absurdity has resumed. The girls haven’t played a friendly since then and with two weeks to the start of eleventh African Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana, the NFF have made a rather bizarre choice of setting up a friendly game with an amateur male football club.
The least the NFF can do here on is to drive the ladies to Ghana in a bus after the ladies must have gained a lot of stamina playing against boys, that way they can build enough mental strength, eh?