U-17 World Cup: Your Development, Welfare Remains Our Priority – NFF Tells Flamingos … All Is Not Lost, We Can Still Get Something Against Germany – Bankole

U-17 World Cup: Your Development, Welfare Remains Our Priority – NFF Tells Flamingos      … All Is Not Lost, We Can Still Get Something Against Germany – Bankole

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By Amaechi Agbo

Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has assured the nation’s U-17 women’s team, the Flamingos that their development and welfare remains the federation’s priority, going forward.

NFF President, Mr Ibrahim Musa Gusau stated this on Wednesday after the girls lost 5-6 on penalties against Columbia in the semi-final of the ongoing 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India

The Nigerian girls who reached the last four for the first time in history lost to their South American counterparts via penalty shootout after both teams failed to break the deadlock in the regulation time.

Reacting after the team’s defeat, Mr Gusau who watched the match live in India, said the federation is proud of them despite the outcome of the match.

“Amazing performance by the girls and I’m very proud of them despite the outcome of the match.

“Their development and welfare remains a priority to us. Well done girls,” Gusau said.

Meanwhile ahead of the 3rd place match against Germany, Flamingos Coach, Bankole Olowookere has expressed optimism that the ladies would rise up to the occasion.

Mr Olowookere who described the mood in the camp as “painful” said the girls would need time to overcome the pain of their semi-final loss.

Downcast Flamingos players after their defeat against Columbia on Wednesday

“They have done very well. It was a semi-final and a tough match. I have told you that the more you go the tougher it becomes.

“When it happens like this, you feel the pains. They imagine if they were in final. The mistakes they made earlier will start reoccurring now. We give them time to soak the pain, then after I we will come in, me as a father I will talk to them. I will find way to psych them and other person’s in the technical crew will find away to play our parental role

“All is not lost, if we put our heads together, we can still get something in the 3rd place match,” the coach said on his post match interview on Wednesday

Coach Olowookere refused to blame his penalty takers for the loss after Nigeri lost two of their kicks

“Our specialist even lost. That is game of penalty. I can’t say anything more than that. They have giving all. Anybody can miss penalty. They have done well, taking us far.”

Nigeria and Germany will meet again as the battle for the bronze medal in the 3rd place match on Sunday at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumba. Both teams earlier met in the opening Group B match with the Europeans who lost their semi-final match 1-0 against Spain taking the upper hand against the West Africans in a 2-1 win.

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