Just three of the 23 players of the Super Falcons were available when the squad was hosted by Nigeria’s first lady, Oluremi Tinubu.
The three players were the captain, Onome Ebi, midfielder Christy Ucheibe and reserve goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi.
In spite of the low attendance, President of Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Musa Gusau commended the Wife of the President for hosting players and officials of the Super Falcons following the team’s historic performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
The First Lady treated the three available players of the Super Falcons and their officials to a state reception at the State House, Abuja on Monday morning. Joining the three players were a number of technical and administrative officials, the NFF President, NFF 1st Vice President Felix Anyansi-Agwu and the General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
At the occasion, the First Lady hailed the Super Falcons for their outing at the biggest stage possible, saying their hard work, focus and determination were seen and appreciated by Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. She minced no words in saying they made Nigerians proud with their scintillating football and deserve to be honoured.
She also prayed for quick recovery for the mother of goalkeeper and on-field captain Chiamaka Nnadozie, who underwent medical operation last week. The first-choice goalkeeper was therefore unable to attend the occasion as scheduled.
Gusau said the First Lady’s gesture was very encouraging and would certainly spur other National Teams, indeed other sports teams, to give their all when representing Nigeria at international level.
“This kind gesture by the First Lady is heartwarming, and I must say that it is a super-incentive that will stimulate our National Teams to give their very best whenever they’re contesting major matches and championships going forward.
“The First Lady said very nice words to the players and they were quite happy. We thank her for the very kind gesture.”
Also in attendance were the wife of the Vice President, Hajia Nana Shettima and the wife of the Senate President, Mrs Ekaette Akpabio.
Unbeaten in regulation time in all four matches they played at the World Cup, the Super Falcons exited the tournament after a penalty shootout defeat to England in the Round of 16 on Monday last week.