Poor treatment to Nigeria's Falconets as U-20 World Cup draws near

Published on: 22 July 2022

The Nigeria Women U-20 national team, the Falconets on Wednesday trekked to their training ground at the Training Pitch 1 of Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja.

The players who have been abandoned by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) since they resumed camping, had to come down from the national team bus to complete the journey, trekking to their training venue after the team bus ran out of fuel.

It took the intervention of the Team Secretary, Patricia Osuji who raised money to purchase fuel for the bus to convey the players back to their hotel in Utako, Abuja. Patricia also doubles as Secretary to the General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mohammed Sanusi

Meanwhile, Sanusi, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and other members of the federation are presently in Morocco for the ongoing African Women's Nations Cup, leaving the players and officials in agony and regrets three weeks to the commencement of the world cup in Costa Rica.

Worse still, the team which will be in action on 11th August at the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in Costa Rica, a day after the Kick off have not played any quality friendly matches in preparation for the herculean task ahead of them. Since their camping began in Abuja, the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finalists were able to play two friendly matches with Abuja based Naija Ratels.

A team that could not score a goal during the 2021/2022 NWFL Super 6 in Edo State. On Thursday, in a warm-up match against U-16 team of an Abuja based Football Academy (FC Roma), there was no arrangement for match officials to handle the game. The coaches had to call on a man who came to watch the national team play to officiate the match

Investigation revealed that NWFL Super 6 champions, Bayelsa Queens turned down a friendly match with the national team.

Recall that the Super Falcons in Morocco refused to train in protest for their unpaid match bonuses and allowances ahead of their Third Place match against Zambia.

The 2022 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will begin on 10 August and ends on 28 August. In group C, Nigeria will face France on Thursday August 11 at the San Jose Estadio Nacional, before they locked horns with Korea on Sunday August 14 at the Alajuela Morera Soto Stadium. At the venue, Canada will test their power with the African side on August 22 at 8pm.

Only four countries, namely Germany, Brazil, USA and Nigeria have played in all editions of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup since the competition was launched as a U19 championship in Canada 20 years ago.

Germany have won the championship thrice (2004, 2010 and 2014); USA have won thrice (2002, 2008 and 2012) while Nigeria have twice reached the Final, losing to Germany in 2010 and 2014.