Super Falcons To Begin Preparations For WAFU Womens Cup

The West African Football Union (WAFU) has confirmed that the maiden edition of the women championships will hold in Cote D’ Ivoire from February 8 – 24 , 2018.

WAFU said Nigeria, Cote D’ Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Benin Republic are scheduled to vie for honours.

The draw for the tournament is scheduled for January 9, 2018, in Abidjan.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons are expected to begin camping early January and will use the competition to prepare for AWCON qualifiers billed to start in May 2018.

Falcons Face Life Bans

Authorities plan to ban several Super Falcons stars and some of the coaches could lose their jobs as fallout from the standoff over unpaid entitlements.

Falcons striker Francisca Ordega will among the stars to be axed after she said she regrets playing for the country.

The USA-based star was later blasted by NFF president Amaju Pinnick for her comments.

“I can categorically state here that the name Ordega will never be heard or seen in a Super Falcons team list again. This I was told by another top official of the football house,” a source informed.

“No less than 10 of these players could be banned for life for ridiculing their fatherland before the international media and henceforth, the NFF may draw up a code of conduct to guide against future occurrences.”

“The coaches and officials are not left out as they could lose their jobs for not standing firm in support of the federation when it matters most.”

Nigerian sports minister Solomon Dalung visited the team Thursday and pleaded with them for understanding before their outstanding allowances and bonuses.

But the girls have dug in, insisting they will only quit their hotel when they get their monies.

The Nation

We Never Knew Falcons Will Win AWCON – FG

Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, on Thursday said the Federal Government did not expect the Super Falcons to win the just-concluded CAF African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon. He said that was why the government was currently facing difficulties in paying the players’ entitlements.

Dalung spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja amidst continued protests by members of the victorious Falcons over their unpaid allowances. The players had seized the trophy they won at the competition and said they would hold on to the trophy until the authorities concerned offset the N238.05m accumulated bonuses which they are being owed.

They had threatened that if President Muhammadu Buhari refused to address their grievances at the Federal Executive Council’s meeting on Wednesday, they would embark on protest on the streets of Abuja.

But the minister said the situation could have been avoided if the Nigerian Football Federation had envisaged that the team would win and put in place the process of paying their entitlements. He said, “Don’t forget that nobody even knew the team will emerge victorious.

“If we were confident they will emerge victorious, all the federation would have done is to plan for process of participation and entitlement. It is already established in sports tradition, when you win this is what you are entitled to.

“The situation is highly unfortunate and I don’t like it. These girls have given confidence to women who want to embrace sports, so this will go a long way in killing this laudable achievement. It is unfortunate but we will make sure the right thing is done.”

The minister said his position had always remained that the process of request for funds for sporting projects must come earlier to meet the objectives. He said if the federation had requested for funds on time, the process of settling the players would have been easier.

The minister admitted that the matter was not handled properly, regretting that there are also issues of outstanding payment of coaches. – Punch

Falcons Defeat Senegal To Qualify For AWC

Nigeria’s Super Falcons Tuesday qualified for this year’s African Women’s Championship after they defeated Senegal 2-0 in Abuja to go through 3-1 on aggregate.

The first leg of this African Women’s Championship in Senegal finished in a 1-1 draw.

The Falcons are the defending champions and they will be seeking a 10th continental crown at the final in Cameroon from November 19.

Rita Chikwelu put Nigeria ahead after 36 minutes after a good combination play with Francisca Ordega.

This was six minutes after Nigeria failed to tuck away a penalty.

Ebere Orji was fouled inside the box, but Arsenal Ladies star Asisat Oshoala failed to put away the resulting penalty on the half hour mark when her well-taken kick crashed against the post and the rebound was blasted off target.

The home team doubled their lead a minute after the interval, when Osarenoma Igbonovia fired home with an assist by Oshoala, who thereafter missed several begging chances .

In the 50th minute, the Senegal coach was sent to the stands for dissent.

In summary, Senegal sat back in their defence, inviting the Super Falcons to attack them ceaselessly.

Super Falcons Held In Dakar

African champions Super Falcons of Nigeria were forced to a 1-1 draw by hosts Senegal in a final African Women’s Championship qualifier in Dakar on Friday.

Nine-time African champions Falcons, who had nine overseas-based pros on their match-day squad, took the lead after 45 minutes through substitute Wogu Chioma.

It was just a minute after she replaced injured Desire Oparanozie.

However, Senegal restored parity seven minutes into the second half.

The return leg will be played in Abuja with the overall winners advancing to the final tournament in Cameroon in November.

It was coach Florence Omagbemi’s first official match in charge of the Falcons.

Super Falcons Resume Camp

The Super Falcons have resumed camping in Abuja, as they continue to prepare for Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifying fixture slated for next month against the winner of the first round fixture between Senegal and Guinea.

Former national team goalkeeper, Ann Chiejine, who is now assistant coach of the team, has expressed happiness with the turn out of the players.

“We are happy with the turn out of players right now. We have twenty-seven players in camp. And there is no problem so far and we are praying that there won’t be any,” she said.

“We have been having light training but we’ll be commencing our full training session on Monday, 7th March, 2016 at the FIFA Goal Project of the National Stadium, twice daily. The morning training starts by 7am and evening by 5pm.”

Chiejine also added that some foreign-based players were being expected and and she has spoken with their various clubs.

She concluded: “We have gotten in touch with the clubs of the foreign based players and their response is favourable. They have agreed to release them to join us as soon as possible.”

The twenty-seven players in camp presently are:

Ibubeleye Whyte (Rivers Angels); Sandra Chichi (Bayelsa Queens); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Osun Babes); Onyinyechukwu Okeke (Inneh Queens); Blessing Edoho (Pelican Stars); Osinachi Ohale (Rivers Angels); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ugo Njoku (Rivers Angels); Chisom Henry (Sunshine Queens); Ayomide Ojo (Police Machine); Joy Jegede (Delta Queens); Gladys Akpa (Sunshine Queens); Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Kazygurt, Kazakhstan); Martina Ohadugha (Rivers Angels); Osarenoma Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Ginika Nkeoma (Bayelsa Queens); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Chioma Wogu (Kogi Confluence); Winifred Eyebhokia (Nasarawa Amazons); Chinaza Uchendu (Nasarawa Amazons); Loveth Ayila (Rivers Angels); Joy Bokiri (Bayelsa Queens); Victoria Aidelomon (Bayelsa Queens); Abibat Agbaji (Confluence Queens); Ijeoma Obi (Sunshine Queens); Emueje Oghiagbevha (Delta Queens)

Foreign -based players expected are:

Onome Ebi (FC Minsk, Belarus); Josephine Chukwunonye (Vittsjoe GIK, Sweden); Ngozi Ebere (PSG Ladies, France); Halimatu Ayinde (New York Flash, USA); Desire Oparanozie (EN Avent de Guingamp, France); Ngozi Okobi (Vittsjoe GIK, Sweden); Asisat Oshoala (Liverpool Ladies); Faith Ikidi (Pitea FC, Sweden); Rita Chikwelu (Umea IK, Sweden); Esther Sunday (Trabzon Idman Ozagi, Turkey); Esther Sunday (Trabzon Idman Ozagi, Turkey); Chinwendu Ihezuo; Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Ebere Orji (Ferencvaros, Hungary).