By Judith Nwabia
The Nigeria Football Federation has again handed out big kudos to the Federal Government and its sponsors, this time for the progress of the Super Falcons to the final of the 10th Women Africa Cup of Nations ongoing in Cameroon.
Champions Nigeria grasped big wins over Mali and Kenya and drew with Ghana to reach the semi finals of the competition, and on Tuesday pipped South Africa’s Banyana Banyana 1-0 to reach the final for the eighth time in the 10 editions since the inaugural that Nigeria hosted in 1998.
On Wednesday, NFF President Amaju Pinnick put the progress of the girls towards their eighth continental title down to the support that the Federation continues to receive from the Federal Government and its sponsors, and particularly the visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the team’s training session in Abuja earlier in the month.
“We remain very much appreciative of the support of the Federal Government, right from His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) who is a true father for the girls. There is not much we can achieve without the support of the Government,” Pinnick told thenff.com.
“The Vice President paid the Super Falcons a visit right at their training session in Abuja on Tuesday, 8th November, just a few days before they left for Cameroon. His words of assurance and encouragement have pushed the girls thus far and will motivate them to give their all in the final against Cameroon on Saturday,” said the NFF boss.
who also recalled that the same day, Vice President Osinbajo met with the Super Eagles at their training session also in Abuja, and his words of motivation propelled the Eagles to a 3-1 win over Algeria in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
Also, the NFF has confirmed that it has secured international friendlies with top African sides to help prepare the Super Eagles for the remaining 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
The Super Eagles are currently top of Group B of the Africa zone of the qualifiers but will not be part of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The NFF has swiftly moved to arrange friendlies that will help test the team’s readiness for the qualifiers.
Nigeria will now face two African sides – Senegal and Ivory Coast before the qualifiers resume in August when they will face Cameroon.
NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire told supersport.com that the friendlies are scheduled for the March 2017 Fifa window with London the proposed venue.
“I can confirm that the Senegal deal has been sealed and we will be playing the Teranga Lions in London next March,” he said.
“We are also working on securing another friendly with the Ivory Coast and hopefully that game will also see the light of day.”