September, 24 2021.
Credit: Wale Ajayi
In the aftermath of Nigeria's 4-2 defeat to South Africa at the just concluded Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos, NFF president Amaju Pinnick has praised players of the Super Falcons for their committed performance despite the defeat to a very young South African team.
He also used the opportunity of a telephone chat with NSM MEDIA, to confirm that he has called former team captain Desire Oparanozie to apologize for the uncomplimentary words used against her in the post match press release by the football house.
He said there was really no need to be emotional in our reactions after the game, noting that, the entire team failed to live up to expectation and no player should be singled out for ridicule. He praised Desire Oparanozie for her patriotism over the years and assured her that as long as she is fit and in Super form, the coaches will always invite her and other players on merit.
"I called Desire Oparanozie after the match to apologize to her. Immediately I saw that press release and the uproar that followed, I instructed the NFF communications department to withdraw it. We are all disappointed by the performance of the Super Falcons on the day but it is not right to single out individuals for condemnation in a team sport, especially on a day we claim to be celebrating the Girl Child.
"The whole essence of this competition for us as NFF, has been achieved. We have a qualifier against Ghana in the next few weeks so we needed this matches to test the readiness of our players for the task ahead. The Bayana Bayana team has exposed the weaknesses in our team. They came to Lagos with so many young players and gave our girks some football lessons on the day"
"For me, the lesson here is that, we need to inject more players from the NWFL into the team. As you can see, the outstanding players in Nigeria's two matches against Mali and South Africa are home based players and that is the more reason why we must invest more in the Nigeria women football league to expose more of these hidden talents".
"I want to thank the chairperson of the Nigeria Women's league, Aisha Falode for her commitment and dedication to improving the league. The Executive committee of the NFF will do it's best to empowet her with more funds in our bid to take the league to where we want it to be" He concluded.