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Falode Congratulates Nnadozie, extols Gusau’s Women Football Development Initiatives



The Chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ms Aisha Falode, has congratulated Super Falcons of Nigeria and Paris Football Club goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, for her consistent heroic displays for both club and country.

The former Rivers Angels goalkeeper made a penalty save to help her club Paris Football Club keep a clean sheet in a second leg match against Wolfsburg ladies of Germany at home having played a 3 all draw in Germany. Her performance earned her club qualification to the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Falode, a former Chairperson of the Nigerian Women Football League board who brought her expertise to the development and professionalism of the women’s league in Nigeria, while Chiamaka was still playing in the domestic league stated that: “Chiamaka’s courageous displays in the past can not be overlooked.

“It is no longer news that the same impeccable display by her, saving two penalties against a traditional Arsenal Ladies that ended their campaign in the Uefa Women’s Champions League in same qualifiers. This shows that she is a Worldclass goalkeeper and a good ambassador of the NWFL.”

Aisha Falode, who is a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation and was the Head of Delegation for the Nigeria team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France 2019 inputted that the World Cup was the turning point for Chiamaka.

Falode explained further that, Nnadozie used that platform to set a record as the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet at that level , she was 18 years old then.

“Nigerians are yet to forget her heroic performance at the recently concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.
She not only started the journey of the ouster of the current Olympic Champions, Canada, out of the World Cup with her heroic penalty save and the player of the match award.“

The former member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Media Committee was emphatic that Chiamaka deserved to be among the top goalkeepers shortlisted by FIFA and top 3 nominees for the 2023 CAF Woman Player of The Year.

“She is arguably the best goalkeeper in Africa. Her composure, command in between the sticks, leadership qualities and sound judgement are attributes that distinguish her.

Ever since she took over from Tochukwu Oluehi in the Senior Women World Cup held in France 2019, it has been from one accolade to the other for her.

Her Rise can not be complete without the Nigeria Football Federation that gave her the platform for the world to see her and this she humbly acknowledged.”

Four years later Nnadozie proved her performance in France was not a fluke and showed how valuable she could be to the Super Falcons and Nigeria. She donned the captain’ band in Australia with a joyous consistent performance all through.

Chiamaka Nnadozie while speaking with Madam Aisha Falode popularly called ‘MamaSports’ beaming with smiles. ”I can only give God the Glory in my Football career.

“I want to make a huge difference in my career and also help Nigeria and my club at every level.
“I want to make Nigeria proud. Help me thank the NFF President, Gusau, for his consistent and incontestable support for the continued growth and development of all our national women’s teams since he came on board as the president of the NFF.

“I will also appreciate president Gusau for the opportunity I was given to serve and serve well.
I hope to consistently bring joy to my fans and Nigerians.“

Another Midfeild general of the Super Falcons, Christy Ucheibe,, also had a hand in SL Benfica’s progress to the group stage as they thrashed Apollon Limassol in the UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifiers.

Ucheibe was one of the two players that successfully scored their kick from the penalty spot against England in the round of 16 , a game Falcons lost despite a spirited and well appreciated applause from fans all over the world.

Aisha Falode who is an elite CAF Match Co-ordinator was full of praises and thankful to President Ibrahim Musa Gusau whom in strong terms she stated is a leader that is very patient and believes in anall inclusive leadership style.

“He gave women leadership positions in the women’s football community and would do anything to support the growth of women football.

It is no surprise that the Flamingos our U17 team was the third best nation at the World Cup in India in their category.
Gusau had lunch with the young ladies, very fatherly and quite inspiring.

He also gave total support to the Super Falcons before, during and after the World Cup in Australia.

He has resolved to give total support to the Super Falcons in their quest to qualify for the next Olympics come July 2024.

Gusau is also confident that the Super Falcons will complete La Decimal in the next African Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco next year,“Falode rounded up.

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Football Stakeholders commit to FIFA’s new initiatives for talent discovery




There was palpable enthusiasm and avowed commitment to new initiatives on talent discovery and nurturing as a stakeholder workshop on FIFA Talent Development Scheme took Nigeria’s federal capital, Abuja by storm on Thursday.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi opened the workshop by expounding on the theme, saying the FIFA Talent Development Scheme is designed to discover football talents from the grassroots, which is truly a key component of the vision of the Ibrahim Musa Gusau-led NFF administration. “This is a welcome development for Federations like our own that are interested in growing the game from the grassroots. This workshop has the objective of enlightening all stakeholders on the scheme and to let them know the various aspects in which they have to support the Federation and where the Federation will support them.”

Dignitaries and stakeholders included a representative of Sports Development Minister, Senator John Enoh; Director General of the National Institute for Sports, Professor Olawale Morounkola; Member of the House Committee on Sports, Hon. Aminu Balele Kurfi; President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau; NFF’s two vice presidents Chief Felix Anyansi Agwu and Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye; Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa; former NFF Board Member, High Chief Emeka Inyama; representatives of chairmen of the Senate Committee on Sports in both houses of the National Assembly; chairmen and secretaries of the State Football Associations; NFF Management and Staff; eminent coaches; former Nigeria international players including Dr. Olusegun Odegbami; former General Secretaries of the NFF Ambassador Fanny Amun and Barr. Musa Amadu; chieftains of the various Leagues; Super Falcons’ captain Onome Ebi; proprietors of leading football academies; sports marketing gurus and; prominent media personalities.

Gusau used the opportunity to espouse his Vision 2030 with so much passion and assurance, and charged the stakeholders that they no longer have any option than to do the hard lifting of discovering talent from the grassroots and nurturing them, with world football-governing body, FIFA’s decision to organize annually the FIFA U17 World Cup (male and female) from the year 2025.

“You can now see that we have no alternative to doing the hard work, and to do the work we have been elected to do with great energy, enthusiasm and diligence. The ethos of discipline, dedication and integrity must be enthroned, and we must commit to eliminating the scourge of age cheating at youth level.”

FIFA High Performance specialists Abdul Faisal Chibsah and Amit Desai expatiated further on the scheme, and pledged that FIFA will monitor the scheme globally for sincerity, credibility and sustainability.

NFF Technical Director and former Nigeria captain and coach, Augustine Eguavoen, explained the NFF’s long-term talent discovery plan and its strategic focus areas.

Odegbami, as well as Professor Morounkola, Coaches Isah Ladan Bosso and Sam John Obuh as well as former NFF scribes Amun and Amadu reported the positions of breakout groups, with emphasis on discovering truly young talents that will be nurtured through a sustainable process to keep Nigeria at the top of the global tree in U17 football.

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Football stakeholders gather in Abuja for FIFA talent development scheme




Nigeria’s football administrators and stakeholders across different spectra will converge in the nation’s capital, Abuja on Thursday to mull, deliberate and cogitate on new developmental initiatives as the FIFA Talent Development Scheme project drivers hold a workshop in the city.

As the game of football (nicknamed The Beautiful Game by the late King Pele) continues to grow in all its ramifications, the need for new ways and manners of discovering talent to make the game even more beautiful cannot be overemphasized, and this has brought world football-governing body, FIFA into the mix to help the cause of bringing to the fore future matadors of the game.

FIFA High Performance specialist Abdul Faisal Chibsah and FIFA Talent Development Scheme strategist Amit Desai are in Nigeria to moderate Thursday’s meeting which seeks to educate all stakeholders on the importance of the scheme and to get them to key into the initiative.

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau will declare the meeting open, with Members of the NFF Executive Committee and the Management, led by Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary) also expected to be in attendance.

Dr. Sanusi told “The FIFA Talent Development Scheme is designed to discover football talents from the grassroots, which is actually one of the key objectives of the Ibrahim Musa Gusau-led NFF administration. The meeting is meant to educate administrators and stakeholders on the scheme and to get their buy-in.”

The principal objectives of the gathering, according to the visiting FIFA officials, is to “initiate conversations and create greater alignment towards our goals for Nigeria Football, and to understand how we as the team can get the best out of one another and the team as a whole.”

The mission is chiefly designed to initiate the dialogue and feedback between the Nigeria Football Federation and its key stakeholders towards joint goals, and to understand where each stakeholder can support the NFF across its technical priorities.

NFF’s Technical Director, Coach Augustine Eguavoen and assistant directors Abdulrafiu Yusuf and Faith Ben-Anuge have been working in tandem with the FIFA officials to develop the programme of the day, including the topics for discussion.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi will deliver an opening address to administrators and stakeholders that will include NFF Executive Committee members, NFF Management, Chairmen of the State Football Associations, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education, representatives of the National Institute for Sports, representatives of the Nigeria School Sports Federation, chairmen and chief executive officers of the Leagues and representatives of the Universal Basic Education scheme.

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar are expected to be special guests.

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Morocco 2024: Madugu confident Falcons will fly, as Cape Verde girls storm Abuja




Coach Justin Madugu has expressed deep faith in his Super Falcons’ squad to excel when they clash with their Cape Verdean counterparts in a 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations final round, first leg qualifier at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Thursday evening.

“We are without a few regular players for various reasons but we are not here to dwell on that. The Super Falcons’ team remains the Super Falcons anytime, anyday and anywhere. We have players in camp who will do justice to the badge and get us the qualification ticket to the AFCON.

“Surely, we would have wanted a couple more days for the team to train together, but the fixture is the fixture and the window is the window, and we just have to make do with what we have and get the best out of the arrangement. Everyone in camp will play their part for the Super Falcons to qualify for Morocco 2024.”

A total of 20 of the 21 invited players were at the team’s camp on Tuesday morning, with only University of Pittsburgh of America’s Deborah Abiodun still expected.

Nine-time champions Nigeria reached this final stage of the qualification series following the withdrawal of Sao Tome’s senior girls from a second-round fixture in September.

The delegation of Cape Verde’s senior girls flew into Nigeria’s capital, Abuja on Monday morning, and the visiting team will have its official training at the mainbowl of the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Wednesday evening from 4pm.

Thursday’s encounter will begin at 4pm, with Madugu most likely to hand leadership of the rearguard to Mexico-based veteran Osinachi Ohale, who was among the first players in camp, and with Captain Rasheedat Ajibade to lead a midfield and attack that could include Peace Efih, Toni Payne, Esther Onyenezide, Omorinsola Babajide, Esther Okoronkwo, Uchenna Kanu and Gift Monday. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, in the shortlist for the CAF African Player of the Year awards holding in Morocco this weekend, will be in goal.

The 13th edition of Africa’s flagship women football championship will be staged in Morocco in July next year.

For the encounter in Abuja on Thursday, the Confederation of African Football has picked Ghanaian official Ama Boateng-Nkansah as referee, with her compatriots Doris Darko, Alice Chakule and Barikisu Salifu as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively. Oumou Sy from Guinea will be commissioner while Madeleine Somda from Burkina Faso will be the referee assessor.

For the return leg in Praia on Tuesday, 5th December, Liberian Sylvina Welma Garnett will be the referee with her compatriot Hannah Moses as assistant referee 1. Sierra Leoneans Precious Amara and Humu Marah will be assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively, while Oumou Souleymane Kane from Mauritania will serve as commissioner and Fadouma Dia from Senegal will be in the role of referee assessor.

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