The Super Falcons returned to the country last night following their elimination from the 2016 Olympics qualifying race by Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Sunday.
Interim Coach of the team, Chris Danjuma, immediately announced a one-week break for the players ahead of re-grouping for preparations for the Women’s Football Tournament of the 11th All-Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville early next month.
Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi received the Falcons in Lagos, and told the players and officials that though the NFF and Nigerians feel sad about their elimination, plans by NFF to boost the women’s game in Nigeria remain unaffected.
“You have been eliminated from the Olympics race, but don’t forget that the All Africa Games is next month, and also the qualifiers for the 2016 African Women Championship in Cameroon, for which you are the defending champions, will soon start.
“So, there is no time to remain sad and demoralized. You have to forget the experience in Bata and concentrate on the challenges ahead. The NFF is there to give you all the necessary support,” he said.
The Falcons lost 1-2 in extra time, after both legs of the fixture ended 1-1. It means Equatorial Guinea will now play South Africa, and Cameroon will play Cote d’Ivoire for Africa’s two tickets to the Women’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Falcons coach, Danjuma, however believes Nigeria lost to the match officials who ruined the team’s chances with dubious calls.
Meanwhile, the NFF is close to announcing the appointment of a substantive coach for the Falcons who will take charge of the team at the All Africa Games. It was gathered that a former handler of the team is the favourite of the Federation ahead of the 11th All Africa Games billed to begin from September 4.