The Nigeria Football Federation has opted to double the winning bonus of the Super Falcons as a big incentive ahead Saturday’s 11th Women Africa Cup of Nations Final against the Bayana Bayana of South Africa in Accra.
President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, made the pledge when he met with the players and officials at the AH Hotel, Accra on Thursday, as he delivered the good wishes of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the football –loving populace of Nigeria to the Cup holders.
The Falcons had earned $3,000 for a win in the group phase but were earmarked for $5,000 each for victory in the Final.
“I want to let you know that the Government and the good and great people of Nigeria are happy with your performance in the championship so far. They are looking forward to you retaining the trophy by beating South Africa on Saturday.
“Let me commend the lofty commitment, dedication and resilience that you have displayed so far in the championship, alongside that unique Nigerian spirit that was most in evidence against the Cameroonians in the semi final. You are indeed true champions, and we believe you will retain the Cup on Saturday. Go out there and win on Saturday and earn yourselves $10,000 each, as against the $5,000 that the NFF earlier promised.”
“On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari that specifically made sure everything you people are enjoying today today is from him, said I should congratulate you and thank you for making the Country proud. We are indeed very delighted about what we have been able to achieve so far.
On our part as the NFF, I want to apologize for some inadequacies that was observed before your coming to Ghana, it was nothing intentional, we have been going through a lot as a federation but Super Falcons has become an asset that’s so priceless to us and it’s on that basis we went to get one of the best coaches in the World Thomas Dernneby and I believe the difference is clear.
I have been able to to talk to some of your players, the captain and they have made it very clear that this is a huge difference that this is a huge difference that we have been able to bring to the team.”
The First Vice President of the Confederation of African Football CAF, thanked the Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for releasing facilities for the team which they used in their first phase of camping. He also hinted that since the team has secured the tickets to the World Cup in France, preparations will start immediately and he will approve every program given to him by the coach.
“We also want to thank the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for giving us the facilities we used in Lagos and we believe now that we have qualified for the World Cup, preparations start today.”
“Just after the tournament I’m going to sit down with your coach within the next 10 days, I’m sure I will give approvals for every program leading to the World Cup, we are going to work religiously towards achieving that, trust me we are going to give you a better preparation than the Super Eagles going to the World Cup.”
The Super Eagles going to the World Cup had one of the best preparations ever in the history of Nigerian football, but trust me we can make a very huge impact, we believe we can go beyond the Quarter Finals, forget about what happened in France.”
The two captains, Onome Ebi and Rita Chikwelu on behalf of the team expressed gratitude to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), the NFF, the Nigeria media and football –loving Nigerians at home and in the diaspora for their support to the team, and pledged that they will overcome the Banyana Banyana in Saturday’s final in order to return to Nigeria with the trophy.
Ebi said: “We have the World Cup ticket now, which was always our first target here. The second is winning the Cup for a third successive time and ninth time overall. It is a mission we are determined to accomplish on Saturday.”
Nigeria defeated South Africa 2-0 in the final of the second edition of the competition in Johannesburg in 2000, to retain the Cup they had won at the inaugural edition in Nigeria two years earlier.