By Ebenezer Bajela.
Former Super Falcons coach, Ismaila Mabo, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation to ensure the women’s national team began preparations on time for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, The PUNCH reports.
The biggest women’s football tournament has been scheduled to hold in Australia and New Zealand in the summer.
The Falcons were disappointing at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last year as they failed to successfully defend their title, and were also absent from the podium for the second time ever in the competition, after losing 1-0 to Zambia in the third-place match to end up in fourth place.
The Falcons are paired in Group B alongside Olympic champions Canada, co-hosts Australia and the Republic of Ireland and face a tough task of making it out of the group phase.
Despite the daunting challenge confronting the nine-time African champions, Mabo believes early preparations will be key to the Falcons’ success at the Mundial.
“Early preparation is always the key to major tournaments like this and I hope the Nigeria Football Federation will put it into consideration that the country’s name and that of the ladies’ reputations are at stake,” Mabo told The PUNCH.
“We don’t have to wait until it is getting late before we start preparing. In our days, a lot of people can testify to the fact that we move into camp very early and play warm-up matches, friendlies and some tournaments to enable us to prepare very well. But that has not been the case for some time now and it is the media that can assist to drum this to the ears of those in charge.
“Back then, we always disagree with the then Nigeria Football Association to allow us to resume camp on time. I would invite 40 players to camp, after thorough practice, we try to pick the best so as not to disappoint the country.”