20 November 2018

Nigeria: Godwin Izilien Blames NFF for Super Falcons' Defeat

Former handler of the Super Falcons, Coach Godwin Izilien wants the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to terminate the appointment of expatriate coach, Thomas Dennerby with immediate effect following the team's 0-1 defeat by the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in their opening group match at the on-going African Women's Nations Cup in Ghana.

The eight-time African champions, Falcons, who defeated South Africa 1-0 in the semifinal on their way to retaining the AWC title two years ago in Cameroun under Coach Florence Omagbemi, were reduced to ordinariness in Sunday's encounter in Cape Coast, Ghana, by the youthful South Africans.

Chrestinah Kgatlana grabbed the match-winner six minutes from time, firing in a thumping shot from the edge of the box after leaving Falcons' defenders and the goalkeeper stranded.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Izilien, who led the Falcons to win the AWC title in 2004 in Johannesburg, said it was a complete waste of money to hire a foreign coach for the team.

"It is not too late to fire this so-called foreign coach because he has just demonstrated that he knows nothing about African football. I watched the match, and started wondering if that was the same Super Falcons. I blame the NFF for wasting our money on a foreign coach. We don't need an expatriate coach for the female team.

"What our indigenous coaches lack is training and re-training. I am not against a male coach handling the female team, but it must be a Nigerian coach. What Dennerby did with the team on Sunday was just trial and error. He didn't do anything different from what our indigenous coaches have done in the past. He had the materials, but no good coaching technics. Till this moment, I am yet to understand why the NFF sacked Omagbemi and her coaching crew after they won the 2016 AWC title in Cameroun. This foreign coach has to go now," Izilien stated.

The Guardian recalls that the NFF went against the wishes of many Nigerians in January by hiring Thomas Dennerby for the Falcons. The football house had declared in Abuja while unveiling the 'special one' that: "It is our belief that we have the right man.'

Dennerby's first assignment with the Falcons was the regional WAFU competition in Cote d'Ivoire, where Nigeria finished third. He also took the Falcons to a friendly match in France, where they suffered an 8-0 defeat, the biggest humiliation by the team in football history.

The NFF sponsored Dennerby to Cyprus to 'spy' on South Africa during a regional tournament. He was also sponsored to France during the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, a gesture the football house had never rendered to any indigenous coach in the past.

Nigeria

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