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Ministry probes failure as players accept culpability

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Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has promised to find out the immediate and remote causes of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Cote d’Ivoire pipped Nigeria to the Olympic ticket on the away goal rule after holding the Super Falcons to a 1-1 draw at the Agege Stadium on Monday. The teams drew the first leg in Abidjan last week 1-1.

Nigeria had previously failed to qualify for the London 2012 and Brazil 2016 women football event, but many football fans did not bargain for the shocker from Cote d’Ivoire going by the recent ratings of both teams.

Reacting to the failure, a disappointed Dare said he would investigate the cause of the team’s exit, including the circumstance surrounding Thomas Dennerby’s alleged resignation.

Writing in his twitter account, Dare said: “Our Super Falcons, unfortunately, failed to secure a ticket to the Olympics even though they were gallant.

“This offers an opportunity to dig into what led to this failure and to take proactive steps for the future and Nigeria’s football administration.”

Dare, who tried in vain to dissuade Swede, Thomas Dennerby from abandoning the Super Falcons, is known as a stickler for administrative excellence and is expected to unravel the circumstances leading to the sack of some senior Falcons players, including top star, Desire Oparanozie.

Meanwhile, Super Falcons’ new captain, Asisat Oshoala, has pleaded with football loving Nigerians for forgiveness following her team’s failure to beat Cote d’Ivoire at the Agege Stadium.

Oshoala, who said the team gave their best in the tie, posited that luck was not on the Falcons’ side in the game.

The FC Barcelona forward noted that the women national team remained united despite the loss, saying that the team would not relent in giving their best at subsequent international engagements.

“It is quite unfortunate that the Super Falcons failed to beat Cote d’Ivoire. We tried our best, but were not lucky enough to get the goals needed to proceed to the next round.

“The team accepts responsibility for the Japan 2020 Olympics absence and we will not stop giving our best when called up to national assignments.

“On the coaching aspect, the NFF is in the right place to put things in order,” she said.


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