Former Super Falcons coach, Eucharia Uche has attributed the elimination of the Falcons from the 2016 Olympics qualifying match by Equatorial Guinea to lack of respect for their African opponents.
Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Abuja while they lost 2-1 in Bata in the second leg match on Sunday to give a 3-2 aggregate score in favour of the Equatoguineans, a result which meant that Nigeria failed to qualify for the Women’s Football Event of the Olympics for a second successive time.
Speaking to Ladiesmarch.com Uche said it’s high time the Super Falcons stopped underrating other African teams.
“We should stop taking things for granted and believing that we can wake up anytime and beat any African nation. This shows that football is being played in other African nations. It is time we start respecting other African teams. It is not the first time we are losing to an African team,” Uche said.
Some analysts also attributed the team’s failure in Bata to the unavailability of some key players including the likes of Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega, Halimatu Ayinde, Josephine Chukwunonye and Onome Ebi but the former Bayelsa Queens coach feels no player should be indispensable to the Super Falcons team.
“I don’t believe in indispensability of any player because Super Falcons have array of players. Any coach should be prepared for any eventuality at all time. Even if we are asked to raise a new team entirely to play, we should be able to do that. Whoever is not there should not be the reason for our elimination. There are many players in the Super Falcons and the Falconets team. I don’t see why the absence of those players should affect their performance against Equatorial Guinea,” Uche explained.
It will be recalled that the team lost their long-serving media officer Gracious Akujobi two days to the first leg encounter in Abuja and coach Edwin Okon was sacked after the team”s exit from the 2015 FIFA Women”s World Cup in June.
Many Nigerians also hinged the loss to Equatorial Guinea to some of these factors but Uche equally dismissed such suggestions.
“I don’t think either of these reasons is a good reason for our exit from the 2016 Olympic qualifying race. It shouldn’t be because of Okon or the death of a media officer. I don’t buy the idea,” she concluded.