•Federation to camp Falcons in Australia ahead W’Cup
Rising from the outcome of the meeting of the Nigeria Football Federation’s executive meeting held on Monday, the board resolved it would no longer tolerate any form of indiscipline from any player wearing the national jersey or beg any player to play for the national team.
This comes following the poor run of outings by the Super Eagles and the U-23 men’s team.
Coach Salisu Yusuf’s U-23 team came short of making it to this year’s U-23 AFCON after losing 2-0 to Guinea in the second leg of their final qualifying fixture in Rabat, Morocco, after playing a goalless draw in the first leg in Abuja.
The African U-23 AFCON is the 2024 Olympic Games’ qualifying tournament and the defeat means the team will also not compete at the 2024 Olympic men’s football tournament in Paris, France.
Also, the Super Eagles, who were ranked 35th in the world in the ranking released in December, have dropped 14 points to 40th in the latest rankings.
The drop was largely due to their poor performance in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea-Bissau in the month under review.
Jose Peseiro’s men were conquered by the Wild Dogs in the first leg of the double encounter at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, before labouring to a 1-0 win in Bissau in the second leg.
Not satisfied with these results, the NFF board led by Ibrahim Gusau as the president, to take drastic action to ensure discipline was restored back in the national team.
“The board expressed distaste with recent results of the Super Eagles and the U-23 Boys, and fully endorsed the NFF President’s stated position that the federation will never beg any player to wear the nation’s colours,” NFF said in a statement.
“Whoever is not motivated for one reason or the other to represent Nigeria should always be bold enough to state this at the point of invitation. Any perceived lackadaisical attitude by any player wearing Nigeria’s colours at the international level will no longer be treated with kid gloves.”
The NFF board, however, expressed satisfaction with the winning mentality of the Super Falcons after winning their last three international friendlies.
The nine-time Africa Women’s Cup of Nations champions defeated Costa Rica 1-0 at the 2023 Women’s Revelations Cup in February, recorded a 2-1 victory over Haiti and 3-0 win against New Zealand in friendly matches ahead of the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia from July 20 to August 20.
“The Board stated that it will do even more to prepare the team for the big challenge with another grade A friendly match in Europe and a two-week camping in Australia before the kick-off of the tournament on 20 July.”