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Following the array of poor perfromances by the Nigerian female football teams, sports journalists and pundit are of the opinion that recycling of the same old faces had been responsible for the poor performances.
Recall that the super falcons had a poor outing at the just concluded West African Football Union tourney and yet again the flamingoes failed to qualify for the female under 17 world cup.
While featuring on the weekly journalist hangout of PLATFORM TIMES Newspaper, Biodun Alabi of Ogun State Television, Michael Ogunsiji of Sahara Weekly and Michael Adesanya of Corel TV subscribed that the Nigerian Football Federation lacked adequate policies and implementation for the female football.
Biodun Alabi said, “It’s all about our failure to plan for the female game and an arrogant belief in just talents. Before the WAFU nations cup, the Falcons didn’t have any preparation, they were without a coach, they had no friendly matches.
“For the under 17 team, their showing was a reflection of a football system that accords lame consideration to the development of youth football.
Michael Adesanya on his part blamed the poor performance on recycling of players.
“One of the major problems facing the country’s football is poor preparation. One thing I want us to know is that there are no minors in African football again.
“Our female national teams have always been recycling, same old faces no new players. You will see a player playing for one age-grade team for years.
Harping on lack of preparation, Michael Ogunsiji said, “The performance of the team in the just concluded regional competition for the female teams clearly underscore the professionalism and Standard of our female league in Nigeria. And for the U-17 failure to qualify for Uruguay 2018 is lack of preparation and lack of matches.
“The female National team was without a coach for a year, and didn’t play any competitive or friendly match since 2016 they protested in Abuja for non-payment of allowances and match bonuses. So, appointing Thomas Dennerby at the rush hour to the WAFU competition in Abidjan. The expatriate didn’t have enough time to prepare and familiarize himself with the girls.
Speaking further, biodun called for a state of emergency in ge football sector, Adesanya differed by calling for restructuring just as Ogunsiji believs that the coaches need to be empowered.
“A state of emergency is generally required in our football, not only in female football. It’s disturbing that our local talents are not breaking into the Super Eagles again; our club sides are poor on the continent
“Our female local league is coming up no doubt, but needs more attention. It is the bedrock, we can’t ignore it
Nigeria has dominated the African nations’ cup since inception in 1998, there’s no question of complex here but we must go on because other nations are catching up. The next attention is the world cup.
Friendly matches against top countries, and then we must strive to get our foreign legion to combine with emerging talents from the home scene to play together under the new manager”, said Biodun
Blaming the NFF, Adesanya said “The football administrators, some coaches will submit their programmes and plans to the NFF and will wait for months before approval.
“The NFF has the future stars which they are grooming for the Under 17 male football team and nothing for the under – 17 female team (flamingoes).”
Ogunsiji maintained that lack of exposure and inexperience amongst coaches must be considered.
“Look, everything still centres on technical inability of the teams handlers (Falcons and Flamingoes). Many of our indigenous coaches don’t have the technical-know-how to efficiently execute a match against their European counterparts and Americans. For instance, the country did not have good facilities to put our ladies into shape and train with the 21st century training facilities unlike their European counterparts where everything is available. And the problem should be traced to the clubsides they played for.
“Another factor responsible for the lackluster performance our the team is the coaches inexperience. Inexperience in the sense that, majority of them have not really avail themselves with foreign professional coaching course after retiring from the game, except few of them that attended local training school at Ikeja and Sango-Otta.
“Our female coaches lack the exposure to really acquaint themselves with latest training and professional course. But I wouldn’t blame them much, because that is where the NFF should have come in to support them for international training and football development. It is absurd that, the NFF budget seems to be focused only on Super Eagles. Even our underage coaches are also suffering from the menace” Ogunsiji said.
They all commended the Aisha Falode led Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL) board for coming up with strategies to stir up competition in the league but how ever decry non execution of policies by the NFF.
In their recommendations, they all agreed that the NFF needs to step us its games by focusing attention it gave the men team on the female team too.
Biodun said, “The missing thing for us at the world cup is the science of the game. Yes we have the talents but there’s a limit talents can take us. We must also galvanize global awareness of the dynamics of the game. Without this, we will never go beyond the traditional stages we reach at the world cup – 2nd round, quarter finals.
“There should be policy for the female game, funding and adequate attention. Our coaches must be exposed too. Improvement of the domestic league and we must get serious about taking the game to primary and secondary school girls.”
On his part, Adesanya said, “As long as we still stick to the old ways of doing things we won’t be world champion. Everything still goes down to preparation. All other foreign countries, including South Africa do engaged their female teams in frequent friendly matches but us we do otherwise. We need to think beyond Africa and prepare towards achieving it. Talents abound but making them gel for the global stage is the problem
“Long term plan where fund, logistics, training facilities, training and retraining of coaches on modern way of coaching and improvement of the female league and so on will be entailed. I won’t support declaring of state of emergency but restructuring in the administration of football where the attention given to male football would also be given to the female football.”
Ogunsiji in his comment said, “There should be total overhauling of the female football league. The League management Company should also inject the revolution as we have witnessed in our male professional football League. Clubs should be enforced to strictly provide the necessary training facilities for the ladies and ensure proper payment for the players to motivate them. The CAF female football development should also organize champions League competition to allow the ladies travel out of their comfort zones for good exposure to develop the game continentally.
“We have the women league already. The Delta Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Rivers Angels, Sunshine babes, Bayelsa Queens, Ikom Angels and others who are competing for the bigger prize. What we need to also do as matter of necessity is to find good marketing for the league and give full broadcasting for all local stations to direct viewers’ attention to it
“It’s a collective responsibility of not only the government, but philanthropists in the society. One area I would want to knock the board on, is her inability to think outside the box and inject new pattern of operations in the league. In this 21st century, they should have at least, sign a TV pact with any of the local stations in Nigeria now that we are in the digital era.
“First is, regular matches cum friendlies with other European teams, not African countries. We have dominated too much in Africa.
“Second is, the new foreign tactician should be enforce to go to all female league match venues and comb for fresh legs, while the female exports in Europe and Asian should be allow to work extraordinarily to pick form.
“NFF should ensure early camping for the ladies to allow the new Coach familiar with the girls.”