Home Sports Football S/A FA abandons Super Falcons after win, NFF laments

S/A FA abandons Super Falcons after win, NFF laments

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has lamented the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) poor treatment of the Super Falcons following Tuesday’s final 2024 Paris Olympics qualifier in Pretoria.

Randy Waldrum’s side played a goalless draw with the Banyana Banyana at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on Tuesday night but it was enough to see them secure qualification for the showpiece in Paris having claimed a 1-0 victory over Banyana Banyana at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja last Friday.

After Rasheedat Ajibade’s winner in the first leg in Abuja had put the Falcons in the commanding position heading into the second leg, a host of the Banyana team and head coach Desiree Ellis had been talking tough and expressing confidence that they could overturn the tie on their soil.

It was however not meant to be as the 11-time Africa champions remained resolute and claimed a vital draw to pick one of the two tickets for the Olympics in Paris.

Following the arrival of the Super Falcons team late Wednesday night, the country’s football governing body on Thursday confirmed their arrival while also revealing and lamenting the poor treatment meted out to the team by the South African FA.

NFF’s Director of Competitions, Ruth David told the federation that South African Football Association authorities abandoned the Falcons immediately after Tunisian referee Dorsaf Ganouati’s final whistle confirmed that Nigeria, and not South Africa, would be joining Brazil, Spain and Japan in Group C of this year’s Olympic Tournament.

“SAFA officials made it clear that we were thenceforth on our own. They said the bus would not move us to anywhere again, that their responsibilities ended with the final whistle. They only took us back to the hotel, and no longer detailed security personnel for the delegation”, the NFF statement read.

“We must commend the Charge d’Affaires in the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, Mr Alexander Tope Ajayi for all his efforts. He made the team feel comfortable and at home right from our arrival, organized dinner for the team and mobilized and provided transport for Nigerians based in Pretoria to come to the stadium and support the team. He also organized transport and saw the team off to the airport on departure”.

Nigeria returns to the Olympics for the first time in 16 years with their last appearance coming in Beijing 2008.

The 11-time continental champions Nigeria will be making their fourth appearance at the Olympics, with their best previous result being a quarter-final finish in Athens in 2004.

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