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It’s sad NFF left me out of Super Falcons ’99 squad award, says Mabo

By Gowon Akpodonor
21 September 2021   |   2:54 am
Former Super Falcons Coach, Ismaila Mabo, who led the team to USA ’99 FIFA Women’s World Cup, revealed yesterday that he was left out by organisers of the Third NFF-Aiteo Football Awards

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) office

Former Super Falcons Coach, Ismaila Mabo, who led the team to USA ’99 FIFA Women’s World Cup, revealed yesterday that he was left out by organisers of the Third NFF-Aiteo Football Awards, where some of the players were honoured in Lagos.

Fifteen members of the Super Falcons 1999 squad, as well as Coach Mabo, were reportedly invited for the award held at the Banquet Hall of Eko Hotels & Suites in Lagos. However, Mabo told The Guardian yesterday that he neither got an invitation from any quarter regarding the award ceremony nor did he receive any phone call from the organisers.

“I did not get any invitation from anybody and I did not get any phone call from anyone,” Mabo said. “I am in Jos with my family. Maybe, they thought I am dead.”

Eight of the players, who were part of the Super Falcons historic USA ’99 squad, were flown from their base in the United States of America to Lagos for the Third NFF-Aiteo Football Awards.

The Super Falcons to USA ’99, led by Coach Mabo and captained by Florence Omagbemi, made history by getting to the quarterfinal of the World Cup, the best ever performance by Nigeria’s senior national team (male and female).

The team defeated North Korea 2-1 before losing 1-7 to the USA despite taking a second-minute lead through Nkiru Okosieme.

But in their next match, the Super Falcons flew past Denmark 2-0 to reach the quarterfinal, where they bowed to Brazil 3-4 with a golden goal after coming back from three goals down to tie the game 3-3.

Mabo said yesterday that he was surprised that the organisers left him out, adding: “It is a big shock to me that the NFF would treat me this way, but it is not the end of the world. There is God. My only challenge to them (organisers of this award and the NFF) is to surpass my USA ’99 World Cup record. For now, I remain Nigeria’s best coach ever”. Mabo stated.

Among those honoured yesterday was Princess Bola Ngozi Jegede, who is among the pioneer sponsors and promoters of women’s football in Nigeria. She founded Jegede Babes FC. Sadly, the name of the founder and financier of Ufuoma Babes FC of Warri, Elder Eddington Kuejubola, was left out.

Contacted yesterday, President of NFF and FIFA Council Member, Amaju Pinnick, said: “I am not the one that compiled the list of those to be invited for the award. I don’t know anything about it.”