*Super Falcons played World Cup without underwears!
Just back from the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, where they crashed out in the first round, the worst result ever by Nigeria, some players of the team, the Falconets, have revealed that their luggage did not arrive on time causing them to play their first game against Japan without underwears.
The team led to the competition by Peter Dedevbo, finished runner-up at the last edition of the tournament in Canada, fell well short of their championship standard this time around.
The team lost heavily, 6-0 to Japan, in what was the side’s fourth meeting at the U-20 Women’s World Cup. Though, the Falconets went on to win the next set of group games, Canada 3-1 and Spain 2-1 which helped them to tie both Japan and Spain on 6 points, they failed to advance because of inferior goals difference.
Players and officials of the team arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday. Ibom Angels’ central defender, Mary Ologbosere, fainted at their Serob Hotel in Wuye.
The players, who arrived the country yesterday, had earlier carried out the same threat at their Crown Royal Hotel in Papua New Guinea, when they refused to return to Nigeria unless they were paid all their allowances. It took the intervention of the NFF technical department staff, Siji Lagunju to persuade the players to leave their hotel rooms to make the return trip home.
It was further gathered that NFF deputy general secretary, Emmanuel Ikpeme who addressed the protesting players in Abuja urged them to collect the transport fares to their various destinations which the federation would give them, threatening that the NFF will direct the hotel managers to eject them forcefully when their stay expires.
According to our source, “after persuading us to return to Nigeria, the NFF told us here in Abuja that they don’t know when they will pay us because they do not have money. Ikpeme who addressed us warned us that the hotel people will forcefully eject us when our stay expires and the federation will not protect us.”
“He said the NFF will only pay us when they get the money and that we are not the only national team the federation owe bonuses and allowances,” one of the players said in confidence.
Reacting, the General Secretary of the federation, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, dismissed the report, stressing that there is no element of truth in it. “It is not true that the players are protesting non-payment of their allowances. It is not also true that we have threatened to evict them from the hotel.”