By Richard Jideaka, Abuja:
Former Coach of Nigeria senior women’s soccer team, Ismaila Mabo has blamed the exit of the Super Falcons from the on-going FIFA Women’s World Cup to technical ineptitude and inexperience.
Reacting to Falcons’ 1-0 loss to the United States of America in their last group game, Mabo who led Nigeria to her best ever performance at the Women’s World Cup with a last eight finish in USA in 1999 said the team got it wrong technically in all three matches they played.
He stated that after the Super Falcons came from two goals down at interval to level up at 2-2 should have wrapped up the game when they were on the ascendency in the second half but they allowed Sweden to regroup and took the lead before an equalizer ended the game 3-3.
"I don’t want to sound critical of a fellow coach, but i made bold to say that coach Edwin Okon got his tactics and technique wrong and he should take responsibility for the elimination of the Falcons from the World Cup.
"That team is blessed with talents and if they had harnessed it well, should have made it to the second round. They played so well against Sweden and USA but failed to take their chances and got punished. The coach was not able to push the girls to their limit and could not decode the opposition" the retired coach stated.
When asked if Nigerian coaches have failed in the women game for not being able to make their mark at the World Cup after conquering Africa, Mabo said local coaches have not failed but they ought to have improved and do better.
On hiring a foreign coach for the Super Falcons, Mabo said it will not solve whatever problem that is drawing back the game in the country, stressing that a foreign will not be as committed as a Nigerian.
"I will suggest we go with a local coach still. But we must remove sentiment in picking the coaches and national team players. The NFF must pay more attention to the women’s game for us to make an impact at world level" he concluded