By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
The Super Falcons have promised to play and beat their Equatorial Guinea counterparts on Saturday in an Olympic Games qualifier at the Abuja National Stadium in honour of their media officer Gracious Akujobi who passed on on Friday at the team’s hotel camp in Abuja.
Captain of the team, Evelyn Nwabuoku, with swollen eyes from weeping for the late Miss Akujobi, said that they owe her a duty to win on Saturday and progress to the final qualifier for the Rio Olympics.
“Her death came as a rude shock to us (players) and we have to honour her by not only beating the Equatorial Guineans but qualifying for the Olympics,” Nwabuoku told completesportsnigeria.com. “She was such a nice woman who was friends with everyone. We’ll miss her presence in the team.”
Super Falcons striker Desire Oparanozie, a close relation of Miss Akujobi, stated that she has not been able to overcome the shock, adding she was such a nice woman and a big aunty who was one of those who inspired
her being a footballer.
Oparanozie said: “She was full of life when she joined us in training on Wednesday. I still cannot believe I will not see her again. She is gone too soon and what we owe her is to win both legs of the game against Equatorial Guinea and qualify for Olympics.
“I pray for her soul to rest in peace and for God to give her family the fortitude to bear the loss.”
The Interim coach of Super Falcons Christophe Danjuma in his reaction said Gracious Akujobi’s death was a setback and a huge shock to the entire team and prayed for the repose of her soul.
“We shall beat Equatorial Guinea for her. Winning on Saturday will be great honor to Gracious who was always cheerleader and motivator to the team,” Danjuma told completesportsnigeria.com.
Meanwhile, the Super Falcons skipped training on Friday in honour of late Gracious Akujobi. Team Secretary Ruth David said they had call off the training because the death of the media officer was devastating.