The Chairperson of the Female Football Development Committee of the Kwara State Football Association, Hajia Segilola Alaya has urged the Federal Government to accord the Super Falcons a rousing welcome, and also honour them for making the country proud at the ongoing WAFCON in Morocco.
The nine-time African champions lost 5-4 to the host Morocco at the semi-finals, after a one-all draw at regulation time, and Hajia Alaya said that the girls showed true Nigerian spirit in the crucial encounter which saw Nigerian team reduced to 9 players from 70th minute.
Midfielder Halimat Ayinde was sent off in the 49th minute to reduce Falcons to 10 players, before referee Maria Rivet from Mauritius handed Rasheedat Ajibade another red card in the 70th minute to reduce the team to nine players, but the team held on for the remaining 50 minutes (20 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time), to drag it to penalties.
And according to Hajia Alaya, “playing in such an atmosphere for 50 minutes and with the stadium filled with opposing support was not an easy task”
“They showed great determination and resilience to hold on, despite the challenges, and this great sense of patriotism should be commended, and rewarded”, she added.
Nigeria had gone ahead through Uchenna Kanu in the 62nd minute though it was recorded as an own goal by Yasmin Mrabet, before the Moroccans equalized minutes later.
“I want to congratulate the entire team for the feat, even though we did not make it to the final, and also want to commend the Leader of Delegation, Aisha Falode for her leadership roles not only with the team, but for the development of female football generally in the country.
Hajia Alaya, who is the Founder and Matron of Kwara female football team, Abruka Queens also charged the Nigeria Football Federation to as a matter of urgency, step up preparations for the Women’s World Cup.