Super Falcons Left Stranded After Olympic Qualification Victory, NFF Criticizes SAFA

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By Milcah Tanimu

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has expressed disappointment with the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) for allegedly abandoning the Super Falcons after their victory over the Banyana Banyana in the 2024 Paris Olympics qualification match.

Following the Super Falcons’ 1-0 win over the Banyana Banyana in Abuja, which secured Nigeria’s spot in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time in 16 years, the NFF claims that SAFA officials neglected their responsibilities towards the Nigerian team.

According to Ruth David, the NFF’s Director of Competitions, SAFA officials informed the Super Falcons that they were on their own after the match, refusing to provide transportation or security personnel for the Nigerian delegation. The NFF commended the efforts of Mr. Alexander Tope Ajayi, the Charge d’Affaires in the Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria, for his support and assistance to the team during their stay in South Africa.

Despite the lack of support from SAFA, Nigeria’s delegation returned to the country with eight players and other team officials flying back to Lagos on a South African Airways flight. The victory over South Africa secured Nigeria’s place in Group C of the Olympic Tournament alongside Brazil, Spain, and Japan.

Captain Rasheedat Ajibade’s decisive penalty ensured Nigeria’s qualification for the Olympics, while the Banyana Banyana missed out on a chance to participate in their second Olympics after their previous appearance in London 12 years ago.

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