Super Falcons’ exit not a surprise, says Mabo
FORMER Super Falcons Coach, Ismaila Mabo, has expressed his disappointment over the ouster of the Super Falcons from the women football event of next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He added, however, that he was not surprised with the team’s defeat by Equatorial Guinea girls.
According to Mabo, “I am expressing disappointment as a patriotic Nigerian. I think I will describe it as very unfortunately. I wasn’t surprised anyway, but disappointed.”
The Super Falcons lost 1-2 to Equatorial Guinea on Sunday in Bata after a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Abuja.
Mabo said the defeat was not as a result of Coach Edwin Okon’s sack after the country’s poor performance at the Canada 2015 World Cup, adding, “After all, Coach Christopher Danjuma was an assistant to Okon. Even before joining the Super Falcons, he was a chief coach with one of the under-aged national teams. So, it cannot be because of that.”
Mabo, who won the African title on five occasions and led the senior female national team to the quarterfinal stage of the 1999 World Cup, said, “An ardent follower of women football in Nigeria will agree with me that the Olympics competition has not been favourable to the Super Falcons unlike the World Cup. We always find it difficult scaling through during the qualifying series.
“If you will recall in 2003, towards the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, it was difficult to beat Ghana, the match ended 1-1 in Ibadan. This was exactly the situation we found ourselves against Equatorial Guinea in Abuja. But our girls eventually qualified via penalty kicks after the extra time. That was how we were able to edge out the Ghanaians from the qualifying series of the Olympics.
“Also, in our next match against the Bayana Bayana of South Africa, we played a 2-2 draw. We only managed to beat them with a lone goal in the return leg and qualified. Olympics has become like a jinx to the Super Falcons and something has to be done. I think the NFF should go into research whenever they hear that the Super Falcons is about to begin another round of Olympics qualifying series.”