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Aisha Falode, a member of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, says she is optimistic the Super Falcons will have an impressive outing at the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will hold in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to Aug. 20.
Falode told newsmen that the team was however looking forward to an exciting tournament.
“We are still on the path of growth. We are excited that we are going to another FIFA Women’s World Cup and that FIFA has continued to place a premium on Nigeria as a powerhouse in African football.
“We are excited and also looking forward to an exciting tournament in a historic World Cup of 32 teams which will also be co-hosted for the very first time.
“We are making every arrangement and looking forward to really having a rewarding and impressive outing in Australia and New Zealand,” she said.
On the team’s level of preparedness for the tournament, the NFF executive committee member said it was very difficult to make assumptions especially in modern-day football.
She noted however that football had changed both in quality of play, colour, attendance, look, feel, flair and culture.
“You cannot predict anymore that your performance is going to be better than the previous one because you don’t know the indices of what the next World Cup will be.
“After the 1999 World Cup, it would have been easy for us to say that we would surpass the quarter-finals stage in the next one.
“But it took us another 20 years to even go beyond the second round. It is the dream of every team going to a big competition to post very good results and maybe break records.
“These are wishes that we take to heart and to the competition and the girls are working towards that,” Falode said.
She nonetheless pointed out that NFF had taken advantage of every FIFA window in the last couple of years to organise high-profile friendlies for the Super Falcons.
“That is to say seven days FIFA window or two weeks, just like the one we had during the Revelations Cup that just ended in Mexico.
“The girls are going again soon for another Cup competition in Turkey for seven days. Before then, we played U .S., Canada and Japan.
“You can see that we have taken advantage of every FIFA window. That is to say that we are not taking the preparations lightly.
“We know what it means to be one of the best amongst 211 countries that are the member-associations of FIFA. That we are one of the 32 countries speaks volumes.
“We also have been placed in a group that is very difficult. Playing against the hosts is never easy and the latest FIFA ranking shows that they are 10th in the world.
“Then, of course we have Ireland which we don’t really know their football history or culture,” the former Chairperson of Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) said.
She noted that the Falcons team is made up of quality players who could spring some surprises and cause one or two upsets in the tournament.
“They’ve been through a number of World Cups, coupled with some young players who are so eager to make an impression and possibly give a good account of themselves wearing the Nigerian colours.
“So, we think that we are going to have a very good outing in Australia and New Zealand,” Falode said.
Source – NAN
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