Nigeria will retain AWC title, Omagbemi promises
• Coach dismisses players’ boycott rumour
Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi, has promised that the team would do everything possible to retain the African Women Championship (AWC) title in Cameroun.
For the first time since the AWC started in 1998, the Issa Hayatou country is playing host to the championship, which Nigeria had hosted on three occasions, 1998, 2002 and 2006.
The Falcons have won the title seven times, including their triumph in Namibia two years ago.
The US-based Omagbemi, who captained the Super Falcons for 14 years, winning the title on five occasions, told The Guardian that she would use Cameroon 2016 to announce her arrival as head coach.
She said that all invited home-based players currently battling for shirts in the Abuja camp have shown signs of determination, adding that her squad for the championship is gradually taking shape.
Omagbemi revealed that she was in constant touch with all the invited professional players, saying: “I speak with them on daily basis and they are eager to join us as quickly as possible.”
She waved aside media reports that the players were threatening to boycott the AWC Championship in Cameroun over the inability of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to settle their allowances for the qualifier against Senegal.
“Someone told me about the report but there is nothing of such in our camp. I am sure some people just want to distract us but we will not allow that,” Omagbemi said.
Meanwhile, all invited foreign-based players have been given up till November 7 to report to camp in Abuja or forget the championship.
Omagbemi is taking charge of the team alongside former goalkeeper, Ann Chiejine and ex-captain, Perpetua Nkwocha.
The 2016 AWC will run from November 19 to December 3, with the Super Falcons pitched against their arch-rivals, the Black Queens of Ghana, in Group B, which also has Kenya and Mali.
The hosts, Lionesses of Cameroun, are in Group A with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Egypt.