By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee has commended the country’s senior women’s football team, Super Falcons for an impressive outing at the just concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023, in which the team reached the Round of 16 and exited the tournament without losing a match in regulation period.
This is even as the Executive Committee rose from its 79th Annual General Assembly (AGA) on Sunday, September 10, 2023 at the Monty Hotel & Suites, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, reiterating that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the momentum created by Super Falcons in the biggest women’s football competition in the world Down Under is maintained and even improved with adequate support and encouragement of women’s football in all ramifications in Nigeria.
Also, the Executive Committee has resolved to be thorough and ensure meritocracy in the composition of new coaching crews for the various Women National Teams namely the Super Falcons, Falconets (U-20 women’s team) and Flamingos (U-17 women’s team ) within the shortest possible time, as the Super Falcons and Falconets have crucial qualifying fixtures for major championships in a matter of weeks.
Curiously, the Executive Committee did not utter a word on Super Falcons Head Coach, Randy Waldrum’s contract situation and wether he is still on the job or have been shown the exit door following the no love lost relationship between both the employer and employee prior to the start of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Waldrum who doubles as the Head Coach of University of Pittsburgh Panthers women’s soccer club in Pennsylvania, United States of America (USA) had taken to Podcast to accuse the NFF of misappropriation of the FIFA World Cup preparation money, an allegation which the federation flatly denied and went ahead to provide clear evidence it used the money to prepare the Super Falcons adequately for the Mundial.
The AGA Six-point Communique read in parts:
“The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation met on Sunday, 10th September 2023 at the Monty Hotel & Suites, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State to deliberate on important issues in Nigeria Football and resolved as follows:
1) The Board formally welcomed to its fold the Chairmen of the Boards of the Leagues, viz Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the Nigeria National League (NNL), the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and the Nigeria Nationwide League One (NLO) who were attending their first meeting, while expressing confidence that Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (NPFL, and automatically the 2nd Vice President); Ms Nkechi Nneka Obi (NWFL, Member); His Excellency Ali Silas Agara (NLO, Member) and Mr. George Aluo (NNL, Member) will work assiduously with their members to take the Leagues to new heights.
2) The Board congratulated the new Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh on his appointment and pledged its cooperation and loyalty to make his tenure outstanding in terms of podium and impressive performances by the National Football Teams, while acknowledging his positive first steps in supporting the NFF to achieve its vision, mission and objectives of renewed hope for Nigeria Football.
3) While commending the Super Falcons for an impressive outing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023, in which the team reached the Round of 16 and exited the tournament without losing a match in regulation period, the Board reiterated that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the momentum is maintained and even improved with adequate support and encouragement of women’s football in all ramifications.
4) The Board resolved to be thorough and ensure meritocracy in the composition of new coaching crews for the various Women National Teams (Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingos) within the shortest possible time, as the Super Falcons and Falconets have crucial qualifying fixtures for major championships in a matter of weeks.
5) The Board expressed support for the decision of Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Jose Santos Peseiro to invite overseas-based players for the AFCON 2023 qualifying match against Sao Tome and Principe, stating that the match was an opportunity for the team to train and bond together ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying matches starting in November and the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals early next year. READ ALSO:
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6) The Board expressed deep appreciation to the Government of Akwa Ibom State for agreeing to host the Super Eagles’ home matches in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series and also for hosting the 79th Annual General Assembly of the NFF. It expressed confidence that the FIFA World Cup qualification campaign will be successful just as the campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tickets for which Uyo played host to Super Eagles’ home matches.
IN ATTENDANCE: Ibrahim Musa Gusau (President); Felix Anyansi-Agwu (1st Vice President); Gbenga Elegbeleye (2nd Vice President); Yusuf Ahmed (Member); Babagana Kalli (Member); Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member); Ganiyu Majekodunmi (Member); Sunday Dele-Ajayi (Member); Aisha Falode (Member); Nse Essien (Member); Margaret Icheen (Member); Timothy Heman Magaji (Member); Silas Agara (Member); George Aluo (Member); Nkechi Nneka Obi (Member); Mohammed Sanusi (Secretary)”.