2022 AWCON: NFF Panics As Falcons Battle Ivory Coast Lady Elephants In Final Qualifier
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By Amaechi Agbo
There is uneasy calm in Nigeria’s seat of Football, with the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF in panic mood after the Super Falcons’ opponents in the last qualifying round of the 2022 AWCON championship emerged on Monday, www.bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
Super Falcons, nine-time champions of Africa will battle Lady Elephants of Ivory Coast who whitewashed Niger ladies 20-0 on aggregate on Monday to set up an encounter with the Falcons.
The encounter is coming few years after the Ivoriens years ago stopped the Super Falcons’ from qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Football event in Tokyo, Japan.
Playing against the super Falcons on 7th October, 2019 in Agege Stadium, Lagos, the Ivoriens forced the Falcons to a 1-1 draw after the first leg in Abidjan had ended barren and progressed to the next round on away goal.
With the result still fresh in the minds of Nigerians and the current form of the team a serious concern after they laboured to defeat Black Queens of Ghana 2-1 on aggregate to keep a date with the Lady Elephants, the NFF has issued a directive that the team would be reinforced with addition of more technical officials and players.
Secretary General, NFF, Sanusi Mohammed raised the alarm on Monday as he expressed worry that the performance of the team has called to question their professionalism and commitment to the national call.
“I will start by congratulating the team for the victory over the Black Queens of Ghana. It was a sweet one given the rivalry between our two countries in the game, which dates back to 70 years. Notwithstanding, there are deficiencies that we must deal with squarely and without any ambiguity in order that the team will be ready for the challenges ahead.
“The Super Falcons can, and should, exhibit far greater marksmanship. We have the players at home and abroad to outrun and outplay any team on the African continent, and even compete favourably on the world stage.
That is why we have to make the move to reinvigorate the team ahead of the final round of qualifiers against Cote d’Ivoire. The rejuvenation is with an objective for better focus, commitment and productivity,” he said in a release Monday.
Ivory coast Lady Elephants, it can be recalled, eliminated the Falcons from the race to the Women’s Football Tournament of the Tokyo Olympic Games which held two months ago.
In their side of the qualifying campaign, the Lady Elephants walloped their counterparts from Niger Republic 9-0 in the first leg and pummeled bathe 11-0 in the return leg on . Monday night.
The final qualifying stage will hold in February next year.