The Nigeria Football Federation has been urged to use the Super Falcons’ consecutive victory in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations to prepare the senior Women’s national team for future competitions.
Barrister Dalung congratulated the players and officials for winning the competition a record 8 times in 10 editions. He thanked the team for their perseverance in the face of daunting financial challenges and promised that government and the federation will do everything possible to ensure that they were adequately compensated.
“I know that there are some challenges. I know we owe some allowances and match bonuses but what you have proved is that money is not the most important thing because the non payment of your entitlements did not distract or stop you from winning the championship. That is the spirit. This is not an excuse for us not to look at those challenges and rightly address them. If we don’t pay you, we will be creating an impression in the mind of others that if they serve this country well, they will not get their entitlements.
“It is very important to take good care of those who have served and sacrificed for this country. That is why it is important that the welfare of the players and technical team must be taken serious ly. I want to appeal to the Nigeria Football Federation that we must do everything possible to make sure that those grey areas are addressed within the shortest possible time.”
The minister also promised to step up the reward system for sportsmen and women who make the nation proud.
“We must revisit our reward system. If this country must succeed then our reward system must be revisited. We must also de-emphasize materialism and begin to say thank you to people who have done well. Thank you must not always be material things. There is nothing wrong in giving this team National Honours having emerged champions several times. I will discuss this with the President and see what he will do for the team. I believe he will have something very unique for this team” Dalung said.
On the occasion, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick promised to take the technical team for more training overseas. He expressed gratitude to the team for a job well done. Pinnick said that in spite of very tough times being faced by the country, the federatio n had been able to live up to its responsibilities to the team by providing them with good accommodation, feeding and local transportation.
” You are our pride and by Gods special grace, we will offset all we owe you. 8 time-champions of the African Women’s Championship is not a joke. We cannot reward you enough.
We will interface with clubs in Europe and we will send the female coaches on internship.”
The team has since left for Abuja.