Sports

Aisha Buhari Cup: Mercy Akide knocks Super Falcons’ lethargic display in Lagos

NFF may face FIFA, CAF’s wrath over trophy presentation

The last might not be heard of the just concluded Aisha Buhari Cup played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos as the Nigeria Football Federation and the Super Falcons are currently under fire. South Africa humiliated Nigeria 4-2 in the game in which an own goal from defender Michelle Alozie started the floodgate of goals as the visitors raced to a 3-0 half time lead.

Ex-international, Mercy Akide-Udoh, berated the Falcons for their scandalous loss to the Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Tuesday in the final game of the championships. Speaking with our correspondent, Akide-Udoh said it was very disappointing for South Africa to finally beat Nigeria easily in Lagos. It would be recalled that the Banyana Banyana defeated the Super Falcons in the group stages of the Africa Women Cup of Nation in Ghana in 2018, before the country got its own pound of flesh back in the final, winning the trophy on penalties. “There is no fire in them, they play without passion,” she said.

“When we were playing, we all love the game with passion, welovethegameand alsowant to make a lot of young girls understand that they can do anything that they put their minds into. “Imagine when we went to the World Cup, we barely had some stuffs, but we were scrabbling, pulling and doing everything that we could because we were not just representing Nigeria, we were representing the continent of Africa.

“We should also know that these girls are trying their best, if we slander them, they won’t be able to play for us any more, we need them, so all we have to do is to go back, regroup and see where we are coming short.” Meanwhile, the NFF might be facing the wrath of the continent football ruling body, CAF, after failing to adhere to instruction on not to make the Invitational Tourney a Cup tournament.

NFF had initially proposed a group game tournament, with the winner of each group facing each other in the final to determine the winner. Nigeria, Mali and Morocco were initially pooled in the same Group A, while it was supposed to be South Africa, Ghana and Cameroon in group B. It was however changed after FIFA and CAF instructed that the teams could only play two matches each leading to Nigeria playing Mali and South Africa, while it was South Africa against Ghana and Nigeria. Cameroon played their first game against Morocco before rapping it up with a 2-0 loss against Ghana as Mali, who played Nigeria in the opening match concluded their games with a draw against Morocco. However, therewasatrophy presentation to South Africa after the 4-2 demolition of the host country and this might cause CAF to sanction Nigeria.

Speaking on a condition of anonymity, a top official said it was a shock that the federation still went ahead with the presentation of trophy despite the warning against doing such. He added: “I think they were expecting Falcons to win and then give them the trophy in the presence of all the dignitaries as they already claimed it was a cup tournament. Their plans actually backfired and it might be double wahala for them, losing the trophy, and also getting sanction from CAF and probably, FIFA.”

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