The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, on Tuesday in Abuja reiterated that women’s football deserves greater care and attention by administrators in the land considering the glory and honour it has brought to the nation.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the first-ever FIFA Women Football Coaching Course, at the Park View Hotel, Maigari traced the history of women football in Nigeria and applauded the three women National Teams – Super Falcons, Falconets and Flamingos – for their various feats in the past 22 years.
Maigari said: “From taking part in the qualifying series for the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup and emerging Africa’s sole flag-bearer in China, the Senior Women’s Team of Nigeria, also known as Super Falcons, has played in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. From China in 1991 to Sweden in 1995, to USA in 1999 and 2003, to China in 2007 and to Germany in 2011.
“The team has also won SIX of SEVEN African Women Championship titles from lifting the trophy at the first edition hosted by Nigeria in 1998. The girls have already left the country to participate in the 8th edition of the competition starting in Equatorial Guinea this weekend.
“The Falcons have equally represented Africa at the Olympic Games’ Women’s Football Tournament in 2000 (Australia), 2004 (Greece) and 2008 (China) and won the gold at the women’s football event of the All-Africa Games in 2003 and 2007. The U-20 girls have played at every FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup since the first edition in Canada in 2002, and reached the semi finals in Japan last month. Also, the U-17 girls have played at all three editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand (2008), Trinidad and Tobago (2010) and Azerbaijan (2012).”
Maigari also hailed the contributions of former National Team Coaches such as Niyi Akande, Paul Hamilton, Ismaila Mabo and Eucharia Uche, while pledging that the NFF will continue to encourage and support ‘Train-The-Trainers’ programmes.
In his welcome address, the NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said: “In the past two decades, women’s football has steadily but surely raced from the cadre of amateur sport that was largely seen as novelty, to a position of prominence and importance within the calendar of the NFF.”
FIFA Instructor, Mrs. Fran Hilton-Smith, from South Africa, has been conducting the five-day course with the assistance of former Super Falcons’ Head Coach, Eucharia Uche. A total of twenty five women football Coaches are taking part in the course.
Also at the official opening ceremony were Chairman of Technical Sub-Committee, Barrister Chris Green, High Chief Emeka Inyama, Mrs. Dili Onyedinma and Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme.