Former Super Falcons coach Godwin Izilien has carpeted Nigerians who are celebrating the team’s victory at the Turkish Women’s Invitational tournament, which ended yesterday with the Nigerians beating Equatorial Guinea’s Nzalang National 9-0 in their third and final match at the Emir Sports Complex in Antalya.
The Super Falcons won all three matches in Turkey, scoring 11 goals against CSKA Moscow, Uzbekistan and Equatorial Guinea. Team Captain Asisat Oshoala bagged four goals in yesterday’s match, with one each from Gloria Ogbonna, Uchenna Kanu, Charity Adule, new-girl Toni Oyedupe Payne and Gift Monday.
However, Izilien says there was nothing to celebrate about the Super Falcons’ victory in the tournament, describing it as a complete waste of fund.
To Izilien, the money used in taking the girls to a ‘mere’ invitational tournament in Turkey should have been channeled towards other women football developmental events that could be beneficial for the country. “In the first place, I want Nigerians to know that Turkey is like northern Nigeria. They don’t play women football there. Those celebrating Super Falcons victory in a mere invitational tournament are doing more harm to our football.
“Tell me what old players including Onome Ebi is doing in a mere invitational tournament. Ebi was in my team that won the African Women Championship (AWC) title in Johannesburg, South Africa in far back 2004. That was 17 years ago. She started playing football even long before she made it to the national team. For how long shall we continue to parade old players who have outlived their usefulness in the national team? They can’t win any major tournament for Nigeria any longer but just there to fill their pocket. They also deny the young ones opportunity to move up. With these results from the Turkey invitational tourney, the new coach will feel he has achieved one meaningful thing with the Super Falcons. That is not good for our football. We must not celebrate it.
“Instead of celebrating mere jamboree trip to Turkey, I expected the NFF to use such money to organise grassroots competitions, where younger players can be discovered to replace those old ones. To me, the trip to Turkey was just for sight seeing and a mere jamboree. If the NFF has so must money to throw around, they should pay us our money, which has been pending since 2004,” Izilien stated.
Meanwhile, some Nigerian fans have said the tournament in Turkey enabled the new coach to evaluate the quality of players in the team.