AWKA – Emmanuel Okala, a former international, on Monday called for the employment of foreign coaches for the Super Falcons to boost their chances at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Okala, who is the Senior Special Adviser on Sports to Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the Falcons seriously needed more help.
“The national senior female team requires the services of foreign coaches in their preparations for the World Cup,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the Falcons defeated Cameroon’s Lionesses 2-0 on Saturday in the African Women Championship (AWC) final match in Namibia to win the championship a record seventh time.
Nigeria and Cameroon, alongside Cote D’Ivoire which placed third in the championship, thus qualified to represent Africa at the World Cup in Canada from June 6 to July 5.
Okala said it was unacceptable that in spite of the impressive performances of the Nigerian team in Africa it was yet to make any strong impact at the world level.
“For the team to compete favourably outside Africa, there is the need to employ foreign coaches to boost the quality of the bench,’’ he said.
The former first-choice goalkeeper of the then Green Eagles for many years also said there was also the need to send the Falcons’ current coaches abroad for training.
“They need to acquire international trainings to update their knowledge, just as we need to beef up our coaching crew with foreign technical assistants who understand female football.
“While they (the Nigerian coaches) are doing well, it is also important for us to realise that the standard of female football is still low in Africa,’’ he said.
Okala who was one of the country’s most successful national team goalkeepers said the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) should also pay attention to female football.
“Female football is not getting enough support. We need more competitions locally to keep the girls in shape at all times,’’ he said.
Okala who played for Rangers International FC of Enugu said he was already working on a blueprint to revive female football in Anambra.
He said the state would soon form a female football team to create employment and reduce social vices among women in the state.
Also speaking, Donatus Ezeokafor, a football female club administrator, said the victorious Falcons should be kept together ahead of the team’s preparations for the World Cup.
Ezeokafor, who is the Technical Director of Dynamic Sports Academy at Aguluzigbo in Anambra, said Nigeria should look beyond Africa in evaluating the standard of female football in the country.
“We love football in Nigeria and that is what is driving our success in Africa.
“But we lack support, sponsorship and competitions, and most states don’t even consider female football as an option. That is why we have not excelled outside Africa.
“I believe it will be a different ball game this time around if the NFA keeps these Falcons players together and expose them to quality international friendly matches ahead of their preparations for the 2015 World Cup,’’ he said.(NAN)