Nigeria Women’s U17 national team head coach Bala Nikyu has revealed that poor preparation cost his team the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup ticket.
Cameroon edged Nigeria on away goals rule after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate to seal qualification to the FIFA U17 Women World Cup scheduled to take place in Uruguay later this year. The first leg of the encounter ended 2-2 in Benin City while the second leg of the final round of the qualifiers ended 1-1 in Yaoundé last weekend.
“I urge the NFF to always give coaches the opportunity to camp players for at least three months before a major tournament and the qualifiers, this would give the coaches enough time to prepare his team. New players who have not been together need time to get to understand themselves, some of these players need to be taught the basic rudiments of football,” said Bala to journalists in Abuja.
The Wikki Tourists manager also revealed that the centre referee who was in charge of the first leg of the qualifiers in Benin City was one not without bias.
He added: “We lost the ticket in Benin city not because our opponent are better than us but because the centre referee refused to be upright in his judgment. He was very hostile despite us playing at home, I am not saying this because we lost out on the World Cup ticket but we must say the truth even though it is bitter.”
This is the first time Nigeria will not be part of the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup since the first edition in 2008.
Quotes from www.bsnsports.com.ng was used in this report.