Women football in Nigeria has seen great female footballers done the green and white jersey of Nigeria in the past, and many will still continue coming around as long as the national team remains, but in the main time, the queen of the national team is no other person than Oshoala.
However, the names of some Nigerian women footballers will never for once leave the mouth of the sport-loving Nigerian fans because of what they did for the nation and their personal achievement while still very much active playing for the Super Falcons.
Among of them, is this great player Mercy Akide, the former Super Falcons forward, who earned her nickname “Ske“, while playing with boys back then in Port Harcourt which means “Skinny“, is that reliable forward Nigerians loves to see lead the line for the Falcons.
In 2001, Mercy was named the first African women footballer of the year, and in 1999 and 2004 Mercy was named in the FIFA World All-Stars, played for Nigeria in three FIFA Women’s World Cups and also helped the Super Falcons to three African Women Championships titles in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
Another darling is Perpetua Nkwocha, she participated with the national team in seven CAF Women’s Championship back in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. Which she won five of them in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
At the 2004 African Women’s Championship, Perpetual took the tournament by storm as she went on to score four goals in the final against Cameroon to help the Super Falcons win the title, and she also set a record of scoring 9 goals during the tournament and was named the best player of the tournament.
All of her achievements with the national team led her to be voted African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011 by Confederation of African Football (CAF), amidst winning it back to back in 2004 and 2005.
READ ALSO: Top Ten Super Falcon Players
Cynthia Uwak is another fantastic player that has graced the Falcon’s flouring wing, winning accolades back to back in 2006 and 2007 while playing for the national team, Uwak played at the 2008 Olympics and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Unfortunately for her, she missed out on the squad for the 2010 African Women’s Championship in South Africa due to injury, she also missed out on the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup the following year.
However, all of her injury misery didn’t hamper her chances back in the team, as the then coach of the national team Florence Omagbemi called her back to the team for the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Asisat Oshoala who is currently the queen of Africa, and who is on the number of awards won with the former Super Falcons forward Perpetual Nwokocha, would go down memory lane with her current achievements, and perhaps even surpasses the records of her former colleague.
Oshoala’s growth to stardom began when she joined Liverpool Ladies, and was well-loved for her performance by the coach, fans and the board, as she was tipped to be one of the best young players in the world haven’t seen her did wonders while playing the opponents.
As much as we know that trading players between one club and the other are one thing, that the clubs can’t do without due to its importance and its need for the team, this led to Oshoala moving down to the Chinese league with Dalian Quanjian in February 2017.
However, her move to the Chinese league didn’t really go down well with the Nigerian fans, as some opined that she ought to have stayed back in mainstream Europe. In January 2019, Barcelona Femení signed Oshoala on a loan deal until the end of the season.
She was integrated into the team gradually, and as such, she took the opportunity and she scored Barcelona’s only goal in a 4-1 defeat to Lyon in the 2019 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, a match that showed to the Barcelona board that she has something great to offer the team, in the end, Barcelona announced her full transfer to the club and extension until 2022.
All of this great performance for the Super Falcons and Barcelona got her nominated for the CAF Crown with the likes of Cameroon’s Ajarat Nchout, and South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana who won the crown in 2018.
This year’s CAF award night in Egypt was graced with a lot of ex-African players even foreign players who are retired graced the CAF Award with their presence as the Super Falcon’s captain went ahead to snatch the prestigious award.
However, before the winner was announced, many were of the opinion that Ajarat Nchout also deserved to win the accolade haven’t done well at the FIFA World Cup in France, most especially with her fantastic goal against New Zealand, but in the end, it’s was Asisat that came out triumphant.
The aftermath of her triumph in Hurghada, Eygpt. Nigerians still can’t come to terms with why all five individuals selected from the country failed to make Asisat Oshoala their first choice for the award in the Women category.
Knowing fully well that Oshoala was the fans favorite to claim the fourth Player of the Year Award, as such many had expected her to get the full backing of her colleagues, but that wasn’t the case when CAF made voting pattern opened to the public just to see how the votings were being carried out.
Among those who were privileged to vote, which were five Nigerians, none of them picked Oshoala as their number one candidate, one out of the five, NFF Technical Committee member, Ahmed Yusuf, did not cast his vote. A clear sign she lost the votes that could have come from her own countrymen.
Even Perpetua Nkwocha, who had the opportunity, voted the Barcelona forward 5th. And after Oshoala was awarded the former Sunnanå SK forward wrote a congratulatory message on her Facebook page wishing her more success. The message was seen as being hypocritical by the Nigerian fans, as they felt she was being jealous of her achievements, or perhaps she didn’t want Oshoala equalling her CAF Award record.
Of all of the CAF Award mischief, Oshoala had moved on from that, by making a statement with her performance scoring fours goal for Barcelona in their 6-0 win against CD Tacon with barely four days after snatching the CAF Award.
Her brilliant performance against the Madrid based outfit was a big testament to what to expect from the queen of Africa his year, as she might probably be the first female player in Africa to win the Ballon d’Or. Only time will tell.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
READ ALSO: Mosengo-Omba Is CAF New General Secretary
The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.